Some are born with silver spoons, others seemingly crowned with kindliness from the cradle. I am not one of those. And the vicissitudes of fortune have heated the passions but without the fullness of a warm heart.
My New Year resolutions are inevitably based around patience, goodness and mercy – all of which soon fall short of the mark. But I believe that’s because it’s not possible to intend these things but rather that they are a spiritual gift – endowed through prayer or meditation or whatever method one uses to waken awareness of the soul. In this I am somewhat lackadaisical so my desire for these things has always been more wish and want than willing.
Personally I scorn the outpourings of sentiment often on display in the news and the hashtag sanctimony of social media – a hellish path indeed when superficially directed at those far away strangers we see in the media. What I wonder are these good intenders doing to help their family, friends and neighbours. But compassion is not of this sympathetic tendency – deriving rather from Latin compati – ‘suffer with’.
I’m having to face some harsh facts in my personal life this year and so strength was going to be my plea until I fully understood that to tackle hardship it is better to soften than harden, to let go rather than take a grip.
How easy that sounds and how far from the reality of the process of transformation. Such changes are transmogrification in reverse and involve ugliness and pain and tears so I’m not taking a pie-eyed lotus position on this.
Not to suffer from but to suffer with another – that is Compassion – my word for 2016. What is yours?