Recently I was asked to participate in an initiative to spread Compassion, which is roundly defined as: A sympathetic response to the concerns of others that motivates a desire to help.
I can think of a hell of a lot of other things that get spread around on a daily basis that have the opposite effect, so I agreed.
#1000speak of bloggers, from around the world are participating on February 20.
I am honored to be among them…
Compassion would seem, on the surface, to be an easily enough emotion to conjure.
A child sees a wounded bird and wants to fix it’s wing.
A teenager consoles a friend who’s parents are divorcing.
A young adult provides a quiet ear for the broken heart of a peer.
A mother and father provide a safe place for their children to mend against the bruises of life.
The adult child of an aging parent must authorize Do Not Resuscitate medical orders.
Ummmmm. Not so much.
Not so Natural.
A situation that requires on odd response to Compassion, to committing to doing exactly what seems the opposite of ‘help’- Giving permission, orders even, to not go to extraordinary measures to save a loved ones life if the resulting ‘quality’ of life will be massively diminished.
And yet, there it is- the discussion between parent and child, the agreement, the commitment to signing directives that will allow your parent to die, when siblings are less sure, and grandchildren, with space ahead of them, don’t understand the finality of anything, when it is entirely possible that their life could be saved, but at what cost? What quality?
This is a kind of Compassion too.