Tag Archives: Compassion

A Short Story About the Power of Understanding

When it comes to criticize and judge others, we are all experts. Without mercy we go through life like judges criticizing and condemning others, but what would happen if we could spend the same energy we spend on judging others, in trying to understand them? Could it be possible that our understanding could change the way we see others? What if we would have the chance to walk in someone else’s shoes?

 

 

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves." - Carl Jung

 

 

A few days ago, in one of those beautiful summer nights where the sky is clear and full of stars, and the temperature is pleasant, I was quietly sitting on an armchair in my balcony gazing at the stars. For some reason, every time I look at the sky I start to reflect about a certain topic, as if there were something up there, probably God, watching me and whispering something to me. In that night I started wondering about how much people tended to criticize others. I think because we can’t cope with our own life, we tend to focus on others rather than ourselves to feel less miserable.

While I was thinking about it I imagined how would it be to walk in someone else’s shoes. How would it be for one moment be in someone else’s skin and see life through that person’s eyes, and feel what that person feels. I was thinking that probably would increase our understanding for others, and we would become less judgmental. Our hearts would open, and we would change the way we treat others, becoming more understanding and compassionate, having more empathy and being less ruthless judges.

 

 

 

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie

 

 

 

I always try to find examples that will help me clear my concerns. It is so that I imagined a little story about a man of about 30 years who used to criticize others constantly. It didn’t matter if you didn’t have reasons to criticize someone, this man always found a reason to criticize someone. Day and night, he was always criticizing and gossiping about other people, and no matter how annoying and despicable he was, he will always find followers who will applaud him.

One day, he went to a near shoe repair shop to collect one of the shoes he had left for repair. He entered into the shop, and suddenly a strong wind closed the door abruptly. He rang the bell, which was over the counter, to call the cobbler. No signs of him, he rang it one more time. He waited a few more minutes and decided to leave the store. He tried to open the door, but it was locked. “Maybe it was because of the wind” he thought. Tried a few more times without success.

“How will I get out? Maybe there is an alternative exit at the rear of the store” he thought. He went there to find a way to get out, and maybe he could also find the cobbler. As he was walking through the alley behind the counter the light slowly started to fade. Suddenly it was so dark he couldn’t see a thing. He was trying to find the light switch when something bright started shining. He went to see what it was, and he found four pair of shoes shining like stars.

He was amazed, he has never seen something like it. He took one of the shoes to see it closer, they were common shoes, but the light that shine through them with no apparently reason made them special. After seeing it carefully, he started using it as a lantern. He searched all around the place for the cobbler and the exit door. There were none of them. He searched every corner of that room, but there where no way out.

He decided to sit down and wait. “Maybe the cobbler went out to do something and he forgot to close the door, probably he will return soon” he thought. He waited half an hour, one hour, the cobbler never came. He was tired, hungry, and bored as hell. Where could he be? The man wondered. He took one of the shining shoes and tried it on, it was his size. He tried the other one. He stood up, and in that moment a miracle happened.

 

 

To be continued… 🙂 

Kindness: The Universal Language of Love

What if I tell you that there is a way to understand each other regardless our nationality? What if I tell you that there is a language that everyone already knows that we can use to speak to each other? What if I tell you that there is a language that can bring us love and heal our hearts? Would you believe me? Well, that language actually exists, is the universal language of love, and it is called kindness, and it can change the way we live our lives.

 

 “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” - Mark Twain

 

 

We live in a world where its inhabitants are every day more connected through devices but every day more disconnected as human beings. We have all the resources to stay connected, to be together, but still, we insist on separate ourselves from each other. The real problem is that we cannot understand or comprehend each other. The reason? Simple: In the midst of the chaos of our society we have lost ourselves, and we have forgotten who we really are: kind, compassionate and loving beings.

There are thousands of different language in the world, but still, we cannot understand each other. You may be thinking that the problem is that we do not share the same language, but the problem is not that there are many different languages, the real problem is that we do not know, that we all speak the same language, and that language is kindness.

 

 

 

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – Amelia Earhart

 

 

 

But kindness, a language? Yes, and let me tell you why. A language is a way of communication, which can be expressed in many ways. Therefore, we can say that kindness is a way to express love. Every simple word or act of kindness is a way to demonstrate love to another. Kindness is something that everyone can understand regardless culture, age, nationality or race. It is a language that can be spoken in many ways, and always will be heard.

The problem is that every day we are contaminated with other less important things in our daily routine, that we forget who we are, that is why we forget to speak the language of kindness. We underestimate the power of a simple word or act of kindness. The truth is that kindness speaks louder than any other language in the world, and it has the power to heal hearts, and bring joy and happiness to the person who speaks it, and the person who is ready to listen to it.

 

 

 

“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” – Barbara de Angelis

 

 

 

We can feel the power of kindness at any moment, for example: How do you feel when someone is kind to you? How do you feel when a stranger, someone you have never seen before, for no apparent reason, gives you a kind smile, or say a kind word? I guess you feel great, isn’t it? Even if it is for a second, a simple act or word of kindness has the power to fill our hearts with joy. Anytime, anywhere, with whomever we are, every act of kindness is never wasted.

Every time we are kind to someone else, even if we feel that the other person doesn’t care, deep inside their hearts they care, because the language of kindness is something that penetrates any barriers we can have, and gets deep inside our hearts, filling it with love and happiness.

 

 

 

“If we all do one random act of kindness daily; we just might set the world in the right direction.” – Martin Kornfeld

 

 

 

Kindness can be expressed even without words, that is why anyone can understand it, because a simple act, a simple touch, a simple smile, can speak louder than words. It doesn’t matter where we are from, nor our age, culture, gender, language, it doesn’t matter if we are deaf or blind, if we do not know how to read or write, because the language of kindness will always be understood. The kindness we give is a gift for others and a gift for ourselves, and the ripples it creates are bigger than we can imagine.

 

 

 

Why don’t you try to make one act of kindness a day, for a week, and see for yourself how wonderful it is? It is time to make kindness our first language, and change the way we live!

Lack of Empathy: The Murderer of our Humanity?

Our lack of empathy, that is to say, our lack of ability to recognize and understand the feelings of another, is killing the humanity that is left in our society. Everything that is happening in the world just made me realize one thing: We have learned nothing.

 

"Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?" - Henry David Thoreau #empathy

 

Our own world has been the witness of our own destruction through the years. For years the human beings has been fighting for different reasons, most of them has been the cause of our own separation, where most of the time was generated through the efforts of those who govern us, who have always planted seeds of hate in human hearts, only to satisfy their own ambitious and selfish needs.

Through the years, all those people, the ones with the power, have taken the time to think the best way to control the whole world, and the best plan was launched: Separating people from each other by Nationality, Race, Gender and Religion and voilà! Here goes the most brilliant and evil plan of all times: People just hate and kill each other all by themselves. They took us our ability to think, and we became their slaves. Therefore, this caused one thing: hatred increased while love declined, which caused our lack of empathy, and the creators of such amazing plan? Well, they have always won the game.

 

 

 

“The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.” – Maximilien Robespierre

 

 

 

So, what is empathy? The dictionary says that empathy is: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Therefore, how can our lack of empathy be the murderer of our humanity? Simple: if we can’t understand what someone else is feeling, if we can’t put ourselves in some else’s shoes or at least try to feel what that person is feeling, then there is no way we can feel the sadness and suffering from others, what will either cause our disinterest in the suffering of others, generating our inaction, or it will make us act in an evil way against others, being unable to understand and share their suffering.

Therefore, when we lack empathy, everything that makes us humans disappears, because where there is no love, hatred thrives, and it is in that moment when all the worst atrocities happen. We destroy our planet, our nature, we kill all animals, we poison every ocean, lake and river, we cut all our trees, and we hate and kill each other without mercy and compassion and everything thanks to our lack of empathy and lack of love.

 

 

 

“Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” – Buddha

 

 

 

What is happening with the refugees is a clear example of our lack of empathy. In the last few days I read articles and comments from people from all countries around the world about immigration and refugees enough to make me sick. Our lack of empathy and our dehumanization is evident, there is no way we can hide the fact that we became so individualistic, that we don’t care anything about anyone except ourselves. The mere thought that someone with a different culture, religion or language will come to our little fantasy world were everything seems to be fine drives us crazy; taking out the worst in us, when it should be the other way around, since we do not own the world.

That’s why in the beginning I said that we have learned nothing. Why? Well, if we compare our past history and our present moment we can see that every death, every suffering, pain and fight from the past, and every human who have fought to restore the peace have taught us nothing, or in better words, we didn’t want to learn and so, we repeat those destructive behaviors from our past over and over again.

 

 

 

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

 

 

 

I wonder if there is any way we can revert the destiny of our humanity. I dare to say – Yes, there is, and the cure to all evil is love. The seeds of hate have been planted thousands of years ago, but that doesn’t mean that love is already extinct, because love will never die, but we have to plant love once again, wherever we go, to everyone we can. Without love humanity cannot survive, and our existence will be condemned by our own actions.

We are all human beings, no matter our nationality, religion, language, race, or culture and that means we all have the same rights, where the right to live counts as the most fundamental of all, we are all the same and we are all one. Every person should be treated as a human, not matter where they come from. Everything that happens to another may someday happen to us.

 

 

 

Let’s restore our humanity, let’s recover our empathy, and with love and compassion let’s help other humans in need. We could be them, so let’s be kind and have respect, and in return we will have everything anyone can ask for: a world full of love and peace.

Self-Care vs. Selfishness

We usually confuse self-care with selfishness and the other way around, this is a common mistake we make in our daily life, and not being able to see the difference is what is causing a huge disaster in humanity.

 

 

“A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor's.” – Richard Whately

 

 

It is hard for us to see the difference between them because they have the same meaning except for one simple detail, which makes a huge difference. Both self-care and selfishness mean the care of oneself, loving ourselves in the first place. The difference that changes everything is that selfishness is only concerned with one’s own benefits regardless of others, while self-care is concerned with one’s own benefits and the benefits of others, loving ourselves in the first place and meeting our own needs, so we can be ready to benefit others.

The selfish people are only worried in their own interests, because they only look to satisfy their own needs at the expense of others. They never think about others, they don’t care about other’s needs, because most of the time they are thinking only in themselves, so they forget to look after people around them. The selfish people don’t care if they hurt others in the process of getting what they need to meet their needs and desires. They think they are the center of the world, and they want everyone to agree with that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the other hand, self-care people are worried about their own interests and the interest of others, and they want to meet their own needs and desires but not at the expense of others. They want to become better persons every day, they love themselves, and they do things to benefit themselves, but that doesn’t mean that they forget about everyone around them. They do follow their dreams and desires, but without trampling over others in order to achieve what they want. Self care people want to meet their own needs, but they try to look for the best way to avoid hurting others in the process of meeting their needs.

So now you can see that there is a difference between self-care and selfishness, and where one helps to construct a better world, the other helps to construct a better world but only for themselves. Probably both will lead to happiness, but only those who are not selfish will find eternal happiness, and those people will definitely help to change other people’s lives, and making other people happy, what will make them even happier, because everything you shall give, you shall receive, multiplied.

 

 

 

 

 

“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” – Oscar Wilde

 

 

 

 

 

 

The world desperately needs less selfish people; there is so much despair and sadness because of this selfish humanity. This amazing world with all its beauty is dying thanks to the selfishness of human beings, because we are not only worried about meeting our own needs in order to survive, we are also too worried about meeting unnecessary needs at any cost, that we forgot about taking care of our planet, destroying everything that was given to us.

We are also too worried thinking only in ourselves that we forgot about people around us, we are too worried in getting a better position at our job that we don’t care if we have to destroy everyone around us to get it. We are too worried about getting more money, to buy more and more things for us even when we don’t need them that we forgot about the man whom is sitting in the street asking for a miserable coin to buy something to eat.

We are too worried about our own satisfaction that we don’t care if we cheat our partner, because you think your satisfaction is more important that being loyal to the person who loves you! We are too worried because we didn’t had the guts to follow our dreams, so we force others to do it for us, even when they don’t want to do that. We are too worried about meeting our own needs that we don’t care if we become rapists in order to satisfy that need, we are too worried in ourselves, that we don’t care if we steal, or if we have to kill others in order to meet our needs, goals and desires. And all of this happens because of our selfishness, because we only think in our own benefit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.” – Erich Fromm

 

 

 

 

So which one are you going to choose?  The key is to find a balance. We must love ourselves first, and follow our heart, and make our dreams a reality and do everything that makes us happy, because that is the only way we can help others and make others happy, but we should never do that in order to meet our own needs and desires at expense of the unhappiness of others. We should put ourselves in the first place as long as it benefits all of us.