Dear Person Whose Body I Inhabit,
I know you are torn. I know you are wondering why people have acted, and are acting, the way that they are. I know you are wondering why friends, neighbors, and family members are busily tearing each other down instead of lifting each other up. And here’s the thing, so am I.
When did I get left behind? I have been with you since birth and I helped you make your first friend. I was there when you helped your friend after falling down on the playground. I was there when your best friend got dumped (he was a jerk anyway). And I was there when you received bad news, and I’m what makes you celebrate the good in others.
So when, I ask, did you leave me behind? When did you stop listening to me?
I, my friend, am compassion.
And I feel lost.
This is what compassion would say to us if it could speak. Compassion: it is what drives us, or better, it is what should drive us. I know, as I sit here in my safe, quiet space, that many people have lost theirs.
It’s no surprise to me, or anyone else, that there has been incredible backbiting and resentment from this election. And it started a year and a half ago! And what for? Why?
Does it somehow make people feel better about themselves to hurt their friends, neighbors, and family members?
While I believe that is important to discuss our differences, I find a remarkable difference between discourse and disrespect.
We can’t change minds with name calling. I think we’ve seen plenty of name calling to last us for quite some time.
Compassion is what is left. It is the thing that we can all do. It’s FREE. It doesn’t raise our taxes, inconvenience us, or create more work for us in any way. If anything, being compassionate is less work than displaying negativity and hatred.
And I “get it.” I really do. I know that we feel varying levels of anxiety and discomfort, but perpetuation of that is exactly the wrong thing to do.
Instead of verbally assaulting the person that doesn’t agree with you, try to understand the perspective.
Instead of sitting safely behind a computer or phone screen and running over those with differing opinions, talk to those people. Understand them.
We are all people. And at the end of the day, we are what make anything great. If you want something great, you must first be something great.
If you want a world with acceptance, love, and respect, you must be willing to not only show acceptance, but mean it. Act out of love and respect. Even for the simple reason that the person, or people, you disagree with is another human being. If you want a world with equality and balance, you must be willing to fight for those things without fire, without hate, and without destruction in your mind and heart.
So be what you want.
And what I want, is compassion.
And listen hear please.