Posts Tagged ‘compassion’

A Few Caring Words

July 21, 2015

man-grieving-in-park-trees

Who among us has not at times been out and about, feeling sad and lonely and in need of a kind word or comforting hand on our shoulder? How grateful would you be if someone passing by had stopped and, with genuine concern, asked, “Are you okay?” Such a simple, caring gesture would add a little more light, a little more hope to your day.

You can be that bringer of light, that beacon of hope, to others. All it takes is an awareness of others and a loving heart.

A person with the screen name Tomo840 shared how just a little effort made a big, big difference to a distressed man in a city park. Tomo840 was feeding deer when he saw the man in the photograph above sobbing uncontrollably. He wrote:

Families out walking and others in the park scuttled past him awkwardly trying to avoid him.

I watched (more…)

Mission of Mercy

December 23, 2014

we-hear-the-christmas-angels-evelyn-bence





This poignant, uplifting story by Wayne Montgomery left me basking in the glow of a group of soldiers’ selfless act of kindness and compassion. It can be found in We Hear the Christmas Angels, a collection of inspiring true stories compiled by Evelyn Bence.






UNDELIVERED GIFTS
by Wayne Montgomery

Have you ever had the experience of almost not doing an act of thoughtfulness or charity, only to discover later that without this action on your part a very important experience would not have happened to someone else?

Whenever I am tempted to be lazy or indifferent in this way, I inevitably think back to that Christmas in Korea, in 1951.

It was late afternoon on December 24. After a cold, miserable ride by truck in the snow, I was back at our Command Post. Shedding wet clothing, I relaxed on a cot and dozed off. A young soldier came in and in my sleep-fogged condition I heard him say to the clerk, “I wish I could talk to the Sergeant about this.”

“Go ahead,” I mumbled, “I’m not asleep.”

The soldier then told me about a group of Korean civilians four miles to the north who had been forced (more…)

Nothing But Pain

July 6, 2014

homeless-man-on-street-despairI was moved by this story by Becky Lee, which was printed on Quora. It’s taken me a while but I’m getting better at looking past a person’s appearance and circumstances, perceiving their needs and, when appropriate, trying to connect with them on a meaningful level. Becky’s story reinforces  a great truth: every human being is in need of caring, comfort and kindness. Like Becky, I do what I can when I can, knowing that even the slightest bit of attention and loving concern can change a life.

Seek to do brave and lovely things which are left undone by the majority of people. Give gifts of love and peace to those whom others pass by.
Paramahansa Yogananda



JUST TAKE EVERYTHING
by Becky Lee

I was recently sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for an appointment. A man approached the reception desk with no shirt on, using it as a sling around his leg.

He was sweating profusely and he stunk. He was dirty. He looked like a bum. He was pleading with the receptionist to get a doctor to see him because he didn’t have any pain pills.

The receptionist and I smirked at each other and everyone in the waiting room shot each other a knowing glance . . . as if we were all thinking, “Oh, brother.”

The receptionist patronizingly explained that he would have to make an appointment and the doctor was too busy to renew his prescription. She refused to ask. I felt like rolling my eyes at this man. I mean, HELLO DUDE, make an appointment and for God sakes put on a shirt and have some self-respect. He disgusted me.

At that moment the man dropped to the floor and looked up at the sky. He started to weep. I mean REALLY WEEP. I will never forget what he said.

He said,   (more…)

A Hero On and Off the Field

April 11, 2014

Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera




Given the way I worshiped baseball players as a kid, it warms my heart to learn of players who accept the responsibility of being a role model and express it gracefully and with compassion. Mariano Rivera plays that role beautifully.

This article, Exit Sandman: Baseball bids adieu to Mariano Rivera, by Tom Verducci in the September 23, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated.






EXIT SANDMAN: BASEBALL BIDS ADIEU TO MARIANO RIVERA
by Tom Verducci

Rivera thought about retiring last season, but when he blew out his knee shagging batting practice fly balls in Kansas City on May 3, 2012, he vowed he would not leave baseball on the back of a cart. Knowing this would be his final season, he approached Zillo with an idea: In each road city he wanted to personally meet “behind-the-scenes” people who had dedicated their lives to baseball or had known illness or tragedy. While baseball wanted to say goodbye to Rivera, with the attendant going-away gifts and photo ops, Rivera wanted to say goodbye to baseball, which for him meant all the people who toil in anonymity.

Mariano Rivera meeting the Bresette family in Kansas City on May 11, 2013. (Photo courtesy of John Sleezer/Landov)

Mariano Rivera meeting the Bresette family in Kansas City on May 11, 2013.
(Photo courtesy of John Sleezer/Landov)

On May 11, Rivera met Ryan Bresette, his wife, Heather, and their three sons, Joe, 13, Sam, 9, and Tyler, 6, in the media room at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium. (The Bresettes’ daughter, Anna, 14, was unable to attend the pregame gathering because of a soccer game.) Bresette worked as a clubhouse attendant for the Royals from 1982 to ’94 and had never met Rivera.

On March 22 the Bresettes, while returning home from a vacation in Florida, had been standing next to a mammoth flight-status display board in the -Birmingham, Ala., airport when the board, estimated to weigh more than 300 pounds, fell (more…)

A Thank You Letter to a Grocery Store Angel

April 1, 2014

This blog post from Andrea’s blog, True Stories of a Midwest Yankee, powerfully illustrates the impact that a simple act of kindness can have on the lives of strangers. Let it serve as a reminder to stay alert for opportunities to help others. You are quite literally surrounded by opportunities to be somebody’s angel for the day; all you have to do it is hold the intention that you wish to help and stay aware for the right time to step forward.


 TO THE WOMAN BEHIND ME IN LINE AT THE GROCERY STORE

Dear woman behind me in line at the grocery store,

grocery-store-receipt-stranger-paidYou don’t know me. You have no clue what my life has been like since October 1, 2013. You have no clue that my family has gone through the wringer. You have no clue that we have faced unbelievable hardship. You have no clue we have been humiliated, humbled, destitute.

You have no clue I have cried more days than not; that I fight against bitterness taking control of my heart. You have no clue that my husband’s pride was shattered. You have no clue my kids have had the worries of an adult on their shoulders. You have no clue their innocence was snatched from them for no good reason. You know none of this.

What you do know is I tried to buy my kids some food and that the EBT machine was down so I couldn’t buy that food. I didn’t have any cash or my debit card with me. I only had my SNAP card. All you heard was me saying “No, don’t hold it for me. My kids are hungry now and I have no other way of paying for this.” You didn’t judge me. You didn’t snarl “Maybe you should have less kids.” You didn’t say “Well, get a job and learn to support yourself.” You didn’t look away in embarrassment or shame for me. You didn’t make any assumptions at all.

What you did was you (more…)

A Debt Collector with a Heart

November 10, 2013



My only question after watching this video is why it took so long for someone to figure out how to collect money from people who have no money and no hope. The fact that the guy behind this “debt collection with a heart” approach collects twice as (more…)

Kindness Is Hard to Give Away

October 12, 2013



This poignant commercial from Thailand-based True Corporation brought to mind this quote by author Cort R. Flint:

One of the most difficult things to give (more…)

The Compassionate Cop

October 9, 2013



200380196-001You’re driving around with an expired registration sticker because you don’t have the money to renew it.

You hear the siren behind you and pull over, wondering how in the world you’re going to pay a traffic ticket.

You’re straightforward with the police officer. You tell him you chose (more…)

Father-to-Son Kindness Karma

October 5, 2013

“One good turn deserves another” may be a cliche, but it’s an accurate way to describe the karma of kindness. As Fulton J. Sheen noted:

Life is like a cash register in that every account, every thought, every deed, like every sale, is registered and recorded.

It is not ours to know when and how a debt will be repaid. Or that it’s even recorded in the ledger of life. As Buddy Shear of Cullman, Alabama, found out, it can take a generation to pay it forward. Buddy’s story appeared in the September 2013 issue of Guideposts.

ONE LAST BLESSING FROM DAD
He wanted to make his son’s wedding perfect, just as his father had made his.

what-goes-around-comes-around-signFather of the groom didn’t quite have the same ring as mother of the bride, but I took my duties seriously. My oldest son, Josh, was getting married, and I wanted to do everything I could to make his wedding day the greatest, most perfect day of his life. Like my father did for my wedding.

Dad died years earlier and I still missed him. Maybe never more than I did now.

I stood outside the door of a shop I’d never been to and gave the shoes I was carrying another despairing glance. The shoes that went with my son’s tuxedo. That I had promised I’d take care of.

Josh and his bride-to-be, Tara, were about the same height. She planned to wear heels and Josh had confided to my wife, Debbie, and me that he didn’t want her to tower over him at the altar. Debbie had suggested putting stacked heels on his shoes.

I’d dropped the shoes off at the repair shop we usually used. I’d picked them up this morning and the heels were stacked, all right… into (more…)

You May Be Someone’s Only Angel

September 29, 2013

This poignant four-minute video produced by Cleveland Clinic is a good reminder to be other-centered instead of self-centered. That’s a powerful lesson to keep in mind because you never know if the next person you run into is having the best day of her life. Or the worst.

If you knew the man sitting at the next table was feeling utterly alone and desperate, would you take a moment to smile warmly and offer a kind word? Or would you sip your coffee, check your phone and ignore him?

Someone close to me told me he was in a dark place a few years back, struggling to find a reason to get up in the morning. At the checkout line in a grocery store, a woman smiled at him and (more…)

When the Sun Rises

January 4, 2013



This blog only features positive, uplifting and inspiring content. So why am I posting a three-minute life insurance commercial from Thailand?

Because it’s a powerful reminder that every human life has value. Those who are unfortunate enough to be born into abusive families or born with physical challenges are often forced by (more…)

Stop Blaming, Start Blessing

July 6, 2012

Standing outside Whole Foods today, I watched as a middle-age man passed by with a sad look on his face. Looking around, it struck me that among all the people seated outside, some were no doubt gossiping or complaining about someone or something. And I thought, Why are you wasting time and precious breath contributing negative energy to the world when you are surrounded by people starving for connection, compassion, validation and affection? Instead of clucking about somebody’s flaws, you can literally transform yourself and the world around you by choosing to be a source of love, hope and healing energy to all who cross your path.

What does that look like? It could be as (more…)

Try a Little Tenderness

July 4, 2012



In church this last Sunday, the minister told two stories about a senior monk he knew who modeled a wonderful approach to engaging with angry people.



When the minister was a young monk himself, he was doing yard work at the ashram under the watchful eye of the senior monk when a truck driver pulled up. The driver was extremely upset and spewing foul language because he had been driving around the winding roads in the area for an hour trying to find the ashram. The senior monk sympathized with the truck driver and said, “l can see why you’re so upset. You must be worried about staying on schedule. Here, let (more…)

You Are Part of a Larger Family

February 25, 2012



This four-minute video may be a bit on the amateurish side but its message is right on: It’s not all about you. As soon as you awaken to that truth—when your shift from self-centered to other-centered clicks into place—you cannot look anywhere without seeing opportunities to help, comfort or inspire others.

Be kind, for everyone you (more…)

Six Minutes

January 6, 2012

This afternoon at the place where I volunteer, I overheard two women I know who are a bit older than me mention that they were tired and dragging. Since I’m a certified massage therapist, I asked if they’d like a neck-and-shoulder rub in the lunchroom. (I do three-minte shoulder massages for yoga students at a nearby yoga studio three times a week in exchange for free classes.) Both enthusiastically accepted my offer.

During the seated-chair massages, each of which lasted about six minutes, I learned that one woman’s husband had been (more…)

The Sweetness in Their Soul

December 18, 2011

If there is someone whom you regard with disdain or scorn, know that someone else views that same person in the opposite way. Yes, your counterpart may not know what you know or see what you see, but their perception is equally valid, for they choose to see the sweetness in your adversary’s soul rather than the negative qualities that you have so single-mindedly zeroed in on.

Remind yourself that it is also true that some people view you with great affection while others consider you an object (more…)