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Posts Tagged ‘compassion’

Well, I guess I can honestly say that I am not surprised about the Supreme Courts decision for Westboro Baptist Churches right to free speech to protest funerals, as they see fit, has been protected.  However, with the vitriol that they spit out at will, towards fellow human beings that they personally deem as going to hell; it is offensive to many that they have the right to say what they will, wherever they choose to take their message, according to the highest court in the land.

My own personal belief is that homosexuality is wrong…a sin if you will, however, I do not think that this group or any group has the right to protest at someone’s funeral.  This is a time for a family & friends to grieve and honor their loved ones.    I think that Westboro’s conduct or behavior is shameful for a church and shows a lack of compassion or love for their fellow man/woman; and, that there are better ways to communicate their beliefs or faith.  To me it is now more like a legal sort of bullying that has the stamp approval from the Supreme Court (except for one Supreme Court Justice).  To continue reading click here: Write Where You Are

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I know people who are struggling, people who have cut back in every conceivable way to save money just to stay afloat.  I also know people who are living very comfortably in nice homes, with fancy vehicles, going out to eat regularily and have no worries when it comes to bills or their health.  The world definately has classes of people who are in the haves and the have nots.  There is also a large population of people who are somewhere in the middle.  The thing is…we all have things that we could share.  Blessings come in many packages.

Everyone of us has gifts, talents, finances, possessions, strengths, knowledge or time that we could share with others.  What I love to celebrate and learn about are those who share those blessings with others without thought or expectation of getting something back from that experience of sharing.

Our society is going through some amazingly challenging times…people are struggling.  We need to be aware of others around us who are in need…those who could use a little pick me up.  It could be a kind word, a nice deed, financial gift, or it could be a sharing of knowledge that could bring a positive change to another.   There is a spiritual attitude that I love, it says this: “Those to whom much is given, much is expected in return”.  I call that an attitude of gratitude; being thankful for all that you have been blessed with and a willingness to share it with others!   I challenge you to find some way to bless others in your daily life.   Consider this a compassionate call to action…what can you give to others with no strings attached?

I have moved my site to a new Url: WriteWhereYouAre if you are interested in reading more blog posts!

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Tonight was a lesson in making someone feel loved and cherished.  A young lady who has been missing from our community for personal reasons returned for a brief reunion with the people who truly care about her; I think it surprised her.  It was emotional; she was embraced and verbally told that she was loved; that she was missed, and that everyone hoped to see her again soon.  This is a young woman who needs to understand how much she is loved…because she struggles with that.   She has been in pain and because of that…she has put herself through more than she needed to in her journey to adulthood.

Some people struggle with understanding love and accepting love in their life.  Whether they don’t feel worthy of being loved or they just dont feel love for themselves in the first place; it is a difficult position to be in.  Everyone needs love in their lives.  They need to give it and they need to receive it.  It needs to be unconditional…without strings attached.

It was a moving moment to see this young female teen enter into a room full of people and be moved to tears by the response of those people.  I actually felt as though she was a sponge and was able to the first time in her life realize how much others care for her and accept it!  If only everyone who is sad, lonely, angry, or hurt could feel the same kind of reassurance in their life that they are deserving of love.  Do you know someone who needs a compassionate hug or a reassuring word?

I have moved my site to a new Url: WriteWhereYouAre if you are interested in reading more blog posts!

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      This subject is never a pleasant one.  No one likes to acknowledge domestic abuse is a way of life…especially if it is happening within their own life.  Unfortunately, domestic abuse happens every day in a multitude of ways.  It doesn’t just happen in the lives of the poor, the rich, or the celebrity world; even though, that is often the stories that we hear about…those who are famous.  We must awaken to the facts of domestic abuse; it is often learned behaviors that are used to control another person…either with intimidation, physical violence, emotional abuse or sexual abuse.

       Domestic abuse is like cancer…it is constantly trying to destroy the people involved.  It is a pattern of behavior that affect both the abuser and the person being abused.  Many who are being abused do not recognize that what is happening in their lives is actually domestic abuse.  The reasons for their lack of understanding, or denial are many.  (more…)

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       Have you ever talked with someone, in person or on the phone, and FELT the pain that they were going through?  Staying connected to those around us demands an attitude of awareness and compassion.  Having a relationship with others, that goes beyond the surface, requires time, attention, and sensitivity.  Are you able to feel someone else’s pain?

        Communicating comfort, love and caring towards others is easy.  All you have to do is reach out to them, for them to feel that love and caring.  Will they talk about their pain; it depends on whether they are ready or not.  Some people internalize what they are going through…they can’t share it until they have processed what they are struggling with.  Others unload their challenges at the drop of a hat. 

       The key to staying connected and being helpful to another person; is knowing that person well enough to know how they handle painful situations.  If they need someone to talk to when dealing with difficulties, try to be there for them.  If they need time to process what they are going through…make sure they know they can call on you when they are ready to talk it out. 

       Lately, it seems like there are too many news reports of people who have broken under stress or pain and have become desperate…hurting themselves or someone else that they professed to love.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  If everyone tried to be more aware of those around them…this world would be a better place.  Do you know someone who is hurting; or, is it you who is going through a hard time?

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      Today, pictures that show the trauma that singer Rihanna  allegedly suffered at the hands of her boyfriend singer, Chris Brown were released.  If it is true that these are authentic police pictures; someone is going to lose their job.   It is awful that someone could profit from providing this picture to a media outlet…whether they profitted for fame, for money, or purely for the ability to be in control over the picture.  When it is discovered, through the internal police investigation, who the person is who released it…they will instantly become a very unpopular person.  It must take a tremendous amount of lack of compassion and integrity to give yourself permission to profit from someone else’s pain and misery!  (more…)

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     If you were traveling through a poverty striken area and you had a baby of your own that you were still nursing…could you walk away from a hungry newborn baby that had nothing to eat?  Actress Salma Hayek was in Sierra Leone on a humanitarian mission…she nursed an African newborn who was starving because his mother could not produce milk for her child.  Salma was moved to feed that child.  She talked about his eyes lighting up as he began to feel the nutrition flow into his body.  She was moved in her heart to feed him; because i believe that a nursing mother can’t ignore a hungry baby that is crying out in his/her need;  that is called basic human compassion.  Still, you would think that we all had that in abundance; but, not always so, some would run the other way as quickly as they could go.

       This moment was captured on film by the news crew of  “Nightline”  who were along on the trip for Unicef , to promote the importance of tetanus vaccines.   Unicef and Pampers have a campaign called 1 Pack=1Vaccine; Salma is a spokeswoman for Pampers.  www.unicefusa.org or www.pampers.com/unicef 

         I love the message of what Salma did; purely from the standpoint of, if you see a need fill it.  Salma still is breastfeeding her own child who is approximately 1 year old.  She understands the importance of, the nutritional value as well as the bonding value of, breastfeeding. 

         Surely there will be those individuals who will criticize her for what she did.  There will be naysayers who will bring up the issue of aids and to the  possible exposure to her health or that of her own child.  They will say that she did this as a publicity stunt, or for the attention.  Some will say in the larger scheme of things…did that one feeding make a difference; will it save the life of that child.   I believe it made a difference.  I believe an African woman saw an American woman with heart.  I believe a baby felt fulfillment, comfort, and love.  I pray that the mother and child received more help.  A world saw a desperate moment and an act of love.

          I say, she was in the moment.  She saw a child in need; she felt the despair of a mother who could not provide for her child the most basic necessity in life at that time for her child; she did what she was able to do.  I love that she didn’t think twice.  Those who have been blessed in life and find themselves around others in need have a responsibility to share.  I respect Salma for doing it so very naturally.  There are so many in need around the world…what can you do to make a difference?

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     As a Christian I am struggling with the line between fear and faith.  My parents are both cancer survivors.  However, right before Christmas they both had tests done that have come back with suspicious results.

       I listen to my mother say that she is not going to get worked up until she talks with the doctor about the results.  In general, I agree with that.   My mother is pretty much a positive thinker, which is a great thing.

         My father is cut out of a different cloth.  He automatically thinks negatively; he can’t seem to help it.  His mind goes to the worst case scenerio.  It is experience related…he has had the worst case scenerio happen to him before…so he just expects that to be his luck.   Both mom and dad will be meeting up with their respective cancer doctors before the first week of January is over.

          I am a product of both of my parents.  I am at times a positive thinker….and at times, automatically hit the negativity zone.  I don’t like it that that is true; but, it is honest.  I work hard attempting to focus on the positives.

           The problem is…fear.  I fear hearing the situations that they are facing will possibly return them to the medical world of tests, surgeries, treatments, complications, and hospitalizations.  This is a world that is both isolating and overwhelming, with people.  🙂  I realize that that sounds contrary….but, it isn’t.  

     You are surrounded with people in the medical field….this specialist, that oncologist, the anestesiologist (sp?), the radiologist, the pharmacist, the dietician, the family doctor, the nurses, the insurance company…the list goes on and on.  The isolation comes when you must seperate yourself from the general population because of the possibility of infection.  The isolation that the patient feels when heading in for the surgery or the treatment…no-one else can do those things for them.  It is in isolation that fear takes root and does it’s dirty work.  Discouragement can set in…thwarting all of the good and positive things that are at work in the healing process.

     The thing is, once you have been a survivor…your history can limit treatments.  It can also be eye opening to the types of situations you may be facing this time around.  My mother has  developed conditions that can be life threatening, since the last time around.  Both my mother and father had difficult side effects and complications from their various treatments, in the past.

     I am a firm believer that God is in control of everything.  I don’t claim to understand the mind of God.  But, i know that he allows things to happen that are very difficult to go through.  If left to our own devices…most human beings would opt out of the difficult things and shoot straight for the easy path…myself included.  My head knows that much can be learned during these hard moments in life…that God has things for us to gain in those moments.  I know he has things to be accomplished during those moments…he puts people in our path for us to connect with and to share with.  We will do our best to bring glory to his name throughout.  For he is worthy of praise in all things.

        So, I will work at praying that God will have mercy…that he will guide and direct us as we face these additional challenges.  I will ask for wisdom, clarity, patience, faith, courage, strength, healing, financial blessings, and any area of lacking; that we may need to overcome in the face of these trials.  

       What i am thankful for, is that we don’t have to pray for love or sharing; or, willing family members to help out.  We are blessed in those areas.  We are a family that knows how to support one another; and, whoever is in need around us, at the time.   Roomates have often been the recipients of the overflow of our big family.  There have been roomates that had no one to look out for them…they were alone in their journey.  My family is nurturing in nature.   I am thankful for that compassionate part of our family. 

     I am thankful for those in the medical community who also have compassion, skill, knowledge and who are sensitive in the way that they go about promoting healing to their patients and their family members.  They are our allies in the war that has been declared on our loved ones..they are on the front lines of battle trying to help our loved ones to have a full and healthy life; so we pray for all of them who will have contact with us.  We respect their skill and dedication.

     We have so much to be thankful for…and, we are.  Are we greedy to wish for health and financial blessings to meet the demands put on the family as we go thru these things?  I don’t think so.   I know that God has a purpose; I pray that we realize it and make the most of it as he would desire us to do.  I am just selfish enough to wish, as Jesus did on the cross, that this cup would pass from out of our hands; if God so desires. 

         Again…the line blurrs between faith and fear that these medical challenges may not pass from us!

           

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       Maybe I am naive, I don’t think that I am…but, truly I try to think well of others unless they give me a rather royal reason not to.  Tonight , I am more than a little annoyed at a few teenagers.  I stopped off at the local library and was perusing the books in the upper level when i overheard a conversation between some teens and a female newcomer.  One of the two males told one of the females to go over to another young male teen who was quite some distance away from them up near the counter.

      The male told the pretty young female to go ask the less attractive, and clearly not a member of their particular cliche, whether he stole “Jake’s” skateboard.  Understand that this is winter here…and, the boy clearly challenged the young woman to go harass the other young man.  Which she promptly did with a malicious smile on her formerly pretty face.  You could hear the young man stand his ground and say No, he didn’t take it.  You could also hear his hurt and embarassment.  When the young woman came back she held out her hand, into which the teen male poured change; as the young woman said, see I told you I would do it!

          I do not know any of these teens.  I turned to go check out my books when i heard the teen boys tell a younger boy (possible sibling) to go ask him again if he took “Jake’s” skateboard.  The young man being harassed cried out…I said NO I didn’t take his skateboard.  The young sibling came back to the two other teen boys and said…what did you tell me to do that for; after he saw the two teens laughing hysterically.

           At this point, i fully realized that it wasn’t some longstanding issue with a missing skateboard in which the teens suspected the other young man of stealing.  It was clearly some cruel twisted bullies who were getting their jollies out of publically humiliating someone who they believed deserved to be treated that way.   This made me very upset.

            Not only did these two young teens use other people to do their dirty work, they subjected every person within hearing distance into being some kind of accomplices just because we overheard it; and, if we did not intervene then we were just as guilty as them; in my eyes.  They were clearly enjoying the misery of another human being; misery that they caused with their cruelty.

            I am not normally a person who likes to draw attention to myself in public situations…but my spirit would not be quiet.  I felt someone had to address what they were doing.  I told them that they were being very rude and that it was time to grow up.  They lowered their eyes and quickly seperated.  Did I do enough; will it change their behavior?  Probably not.  However, in my heart…if i had walked away and kept quiet about what they were doing…then, I would not have had peace in my heart. 

        Why do some people feel such need to hurt, humiliate and tear down another person?  Who are they to decide who is acceptable and who is not?  How sad is it that these young people felt perfectly safe and secure doing what they were doing without fear of being challenged? 

             Personal integrity is important…never forget that.  Never forget that coming to the aid of another person is a compassionate thing to do and there is not enough compassion in the world.  Pretend that compassion is an unending well (it truly is)…and dip into it often.    Peace and love from one person to another; God bless!

        

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       Minnesota has had a couple of miserable examples of appropriate teenaged behaviors.  First, there is the case of Nicole Beecroft who was 17 years old in April 2007 when she gave birth to a live baby girl, on the floor of the laundry room, in the home that she shared with her parents.  They did not know that she was pregnant.  Not only did she hide her pregnancy; but, prosecutors alleged that she planned the death of her baby before it was born.  She stabbed her newborn daughter 135 times in the abdomen, chest and neck.  The baby bled to death; and that is when, Nicole Beecroft disposed of her child in the garbage can outside of her home. 

       A judge ruled on December 1, 2008 that Nicole Beecroft was guilty of 1st degree murder and will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole.  What would possess a woman to not only kill her child but to do so in such an extremely violent way?  Why not give the child up for adoption?  Why not let the father raise the child?  Why not reach out to a parent, a teacher, clergy, counselor, neighbor or a friend? What was the reason behind stabbing an innocent, straight out of the womb infant? 

        Then today, there are reports that 8 Minnesota teenagers are facing charges of terrorizing and abusing nursing home patients.  The nursing home patients suffer from dementia and alzheimers disease.  The accused are minors, except for two young women, they all worked as part time aides at the nursing home.  They are accused of crimes such as spitting on the patients, physical assault, poking at them, and sexual contact with vulnerable adults.  These are serious charges and yet, they may only face 1 year in prison, and or, a fine of up to $300,000 if they are actually convicted.  I am sure that those who had alleged sexual contact will also have to register as sexual offenders for the rest of their lives.  Do you think those punishments are appropriate; if indeed, they are convicted of the crimes?  Are the punishments severe enough for the alleged behaviors?

         Where is the respect for children or for our elderly citizens?  Where is the respect for life?  In general, society has allowed our nation’s children to do what they want, with very little consequences.  When things go awry; many people find others to blame…there is very little accountability for those who go the wrong way. 

        Minnesota does not have a monopoly on violent or abusive teens; every state has such horror stories; that doesn’t make it ok.  Who is going to be the next vulnerable person?  What kind of depraved behavior is going to surface next?   We are raising a whole generation of human beings who have individuals who are either are unwilling, or incapable, of caring about other people in any normal kind of compassionate way! 

        The question is…what are we as a society going to do about it?  We had better figure out a way to understand these type of situations and change the course of these behaviors…otherwise, those most vulnerable, the elderly and the children, will be at substantial risk.  Those people at risk could be your loved ones; or possibly, even yourself! 

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