1. Compassion is on my mind. I check myself often. Am I compassionate? Do I live my life according to my principles?
2. Sometimes compassion is a challenge–or maybe it’s figuring out what is the most compassionate way to support someone or something. Like yesterday, some friends and I were having a discussion about taxes. Some of them thought flat tax rate–the same rate should apply for everybody. Even the working poor. Hard to express to someone who has never been dirt poor, gone hungry, or been cold in the middle of winter, but when you are poor, every penny counts for your survival. It’s that simple.
3. That said. There is something to be said for a tough form of compassion. What I mean is compassion doesn’t necessarily mean a hand out…does it? It can also mean showing someone a way out through their own efforts.
4. Anyway. What do I know? I may have it all wrong. Several years ago I worked with impoverished communities and it’s never as simple as it looks, never as easy as it seems to help out. I spoke up when I worked there about the fact that we were supposed to be helping impoverished communities—and we were having our meetings at fancy hotels in big cities, flying first class. Suffice it to say, I didn’t last long.
5. Many times when I look back at my life, I catch myself thinking “If only my parents had money, maybe I’d have had such-and-such opportunity…and I’d be better off now.” But hey, I’m doing good. I have a roof over my head, plenty to eat, warmth in the winter, work that I love, and a great family; wonderful friends. I also think I appreciate every little thing I do have. Sometimes I thank the Universe that I did not grow up in that middle-class existence. My working-class values have done me well. This is who I am at my core.