A Little Compassion Goes a Long Way

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My dad asked me an interesting question the other day, "If you see two men fighting on the street, one beating up another, which one do you have compassion for?" I obviously answered too quickly that duh, I'd have compassion for the one being beat up. And he corrected me by telling me that no, I should have compassion for both.
I'm sure my dad didn't just make that up, as wise as he may be. In fact it's most likely that it came from some Buddhist teaching somewhere. But whoever said it first, it did get me thinking. 
Do I show compassion to all people, no matter what? I wish I could say yes. That at all points of the day I show compassion to all types of people. But that would be a big huge lie and I try to stay pretty honest around these parts. 
I work in a doctors office, a chiropractor more specifically, in a more affluent part of the city. We have some very...let's call them high maintence patients. I'm a receptionist and on the daily I get calls from people literally demanding to see the doctor. I would never demand that anyone see me if I waited till the absolute last minute to call into make an appointment somewhere. If I dare tell them that the doctor is booked for the time they need to get in, the precede to tell me how much they need to see him and how their problems are so much worse than anyone else. If they don't see the doctor they just might not make it
I'm not joking (okay, I'm joking a little), but it gets dramatic in our office. 
And sometimes I find myself making judgements, although I try really, really hard not to. Because it really isn't my place to. How do I know these patients aren't in the absolute worst pain of their lives? 
The truth is, I don't. 
Having compassion isn't the easiest thing. Not all the time, and not towards every person. Sometimes people make your life difficult. They may mess up your day, or annoy you or be rude in some form or another. But no one really knows what anyone else is going through. Sometimes I may only see a patient for under five minutes and think I have my mind made up about the type of person they are. But maybe that person just lost their job, or had to deal with people being rude to them wherever they just came from. 
I think a little bit of compassion comes from the ability to change our perspective. When I'm in pain, the last thing I want is for someone to tell me I can't get in to see the one person who might be able to help me. I think that for the most part, people don't try to act in a way that seems demanding, or condescending. Maybe no one's ever told them that's the way they were coming off to other people and it's all they've ever known. 
It's important to be compassionate for both the person getting beaten up and the person doing the beating...well, maybe not literally but you get the picture. 
Next time someone makes your day a little more difficult, try to put yourself in their shoes and show them a some compassion.  


  1. Wow this definitely gives you something to think about. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. There's not much to say other than it's a brilliant post and how I try to live my life. Will be sharing!

    Danielle xo

  3. This is so good! Imagine how much better everything would be if we truly all assumed this!


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