Compassion

Yesterday’s post was about sacrifice in 2020 and today I wanted to focus on compassion. Because compassion and sacrifice are close friends and walk hand in hand with hope.

What does compassion mean? According to Mr Google:

The meaning of compassion is to recognize the suffering of others and then take action to help. Compassion embodies a tangible expression of love for those who are suffering. I really like this definition. I love the action aspect of it. And I would redefine 2020 for me as the year of compassion. Even today I read of someone taking a meal to a homeless person. This year more than ever, our eyes seem to have been opened to this life no0t being about what we can get, but rather what we can give. And that is such a precious thing.

The story of the Good Samaritan which is a very famous bible story in Luke 10:25-37 goes like this:

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

I love the teachings of Jesus because they are so practical. What I notice about this passage is Jesus saying don’t walk by and for me this translates into do not go to church every Sunday and ignore the homeless person who sits near the entrance of the church. Maybe get them a sandwich and ask if they are okay and miss church for a week. Compassion is putting others before oneself.

Other examples of compassion are manifold. Our wonderful Sir Captain Tom Moore who has raised millions for the NHS. Our heroes and heroines who quietly volunteer at foodbanks, homeless shelters, raise money for charities across the land. And this is in the UK. I am sure there are countless stories of compassion you followers can share and please do.

And a very interesting quote on compassion with which I will leave you is

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” (Albert Einstein)

Today’s recipe of hope is to check your compassion level and put the action of compassion for others into practice. Widen your circle, step out beyond the immediate circle and move beyond this.

References

(accessed 28/12/2020)

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