Charity begins... Monday May 18, 2015
For me Charity Begins where your heart is moved. Many of you know my theological background, and will know that what I say next is because of my fascination with wisdom literature rather than any religious intent...
I am deeply touched by the way my hero, Jesus, in the New Testament, is "moved by compassion" when triggered by the sight of an individual's personal grief or the need of the vast multitudes. If was Jesus, I would be totally overwhelmed by the scale of the needs on Earth. Interestingly, He addressed the present and presenting need - what He saw, what was before Him. In fact, after giving out, He would often withdraw alone to recharge. That, for me as an Introvert, is fascinating too.
I've shared someone else's poster on facebook recently because it captured my imagination. It says, "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few mintues, including you!" [Anne Lamotte]
Weaving these two threads together, I have my recipe for compassion:
1 Address the opportunity that presents itself (and let go of the rest of the World's problems for now).
2. Remember that charity begins at home - closer to home than most people realise - with you! You must recharge before giving out, and after giving out, or else you will give out!!
Would it be better not to be compassionate? I hear people saying, "Isn't Nature wonderful?" but I see very little compassion in Nature. There are strong parental bonds, to be sure, but very little compassion outside close family groups of animals. Humans have risen to something higher (and horses, dogs and dolphins... do add to the list!) We can choose to help other species and one another, even when there is nothing in this for us. That, for me, is the meaning of life. Yes, we do well to be compassionate alongside making sure we have the resources to continue to be so.
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