Welcome to week three on the subject matter of compassion. We are all familiar with the various levels of education that are before each of us – grade school, high school, college, a master’s degree and a PhD. All of us go along this ladder, I too, to an extent that we look for to bolster our future. I must say that I didn’t go as far as I thought I would and I’m sure that some of us would second guess our own path in the education world at times.
Well, my friends, there is real good news when it comes to compassion. You see, when it comes to compassion you really do not need further education to make a difference. You don’t need to be studying ever aspect of compassion or get a degree to make a difference not only for the people you are with, the animals you are with, but for yourself. All it takes is an experience or two to get yourself started, a willingness to try and put yourself out there and to continue on.
Now, yes, like school, in order for us to progress in the area of compassion, we do get challenged, but it’s okay. The challenges are relatively easy to meet if we, in fact, try our best and use models like Shelby my Pit Bull, and many others who are out there demonstrating compassion every day.
Step one is to feel that unsettled feeling when you are with somebody who is hurting or sick and recognize that unsettled feeling in yourself as to what am I going to do to help. That is really step one, to acknowledge that feeling that is within you.
Step two is to realize that you are there to help. Anything that you do, most anything I should say, is a step toward it. It is very important to recognize that sometimes all it takes is a presence and in most cases the least words said the better. All you really need to do, as is said in some work environments, which I must say I disagree with, is to show up. But showing up in this context in the area of compassion really goes a long way.
In animal rescue it’s like this too. Sometimes we put ourselves in a position where we are asking a lot of ourselves. Really all we need to do is what we can do – offer a good thought for an animal in need – offer a positive and encouraging word to somebody who is out there actually in rescue. These can go a long way.
Step three is to actually soak in what is necessary from that person and try to give back as much as you can in spite of what you might be going through. Yes, this is the most challenging one, my friends, because that one can be difficult. We need to empty ourselves, or as Bruce Lee used to say when we come into the martial arts training area, we must empty our self so that you can learn. In the area of compassion we must empty our self to give our self as much as we possibly can without bringing our own issues to the table. This is where a dog, once again, can be an outrageous example.
Shelby, I speak about often but I can tell you about my two Dachshunds who have had such an awesome impact on my life, Fritz, and Rommel. Both of them unfortunately have passed away, however, I can tell you that within their most darkest moments, they put aside their own issues to comfort me. Yes, to bring compassion to me. Fritz for some reason, had an incredible amount of stomach stress. He probably had cancer.
When he was in his final moments and saw me distraught, he couldn’t help but offer me a final kiss of comfort. He was obviously in a lot of pain himself but that did not matter. Rommel, who passed away not too long ago, was very sick with Cushings Disease, but once again in his final days where he struggled and I had to make that very tough decision, he offered me moments of compassion and love and that look that said I am here for you. Yes, this is where we need to get to my friends in the area of compassion and once again a canine will lead the way if we look close enough.
So, I ask you to consider some real powerful actions items as you create your own very important and impactful degree in compassionate care. Our action items are the steps I laid out earlier Step one is to recognize that feeling when you are in that situation with someone in need.
Step two is to then take that feeling and say I am going to make a difference and sometimes the least amount of action is better. This could be just one or two comforting words, just a loving glance or being with somebody means so much.
Step three is to put aside your own issues, put them out of your body if you possibly can. Visualize that and then feel the empathy that you need to give and provide it with the love, the care and the compassion that our canine friends can certainly demonstrate and give us an example for.
I welcome you to the most important form of higher education in our life and in our world. Our society would benefit more than ever and, yes, if you’d like I can have Shelby hand you the diploma! Thank you so much for continuing on this journey and let’s strive to make a difference.
TAKE NOBLE ACTION
- Recognize how you feel when you are with someone in need.
- Take that feeling and use it to make a positive difference in someone’s life.
- Place your own issues aside – focus 100% on the person. Recognize how you feel.