The Art of Compassion

I was shoved today at the supermarket.  There I was, holding two avocados, and some woman rammed into me.  “Excuse me,” she said with an attitude,  “…is this the line?”

“No, this would be my body you just slammed into,” is what I wanted to say.  But I didn’t say anything as I nodded yes.  She took her spot in the line, behind me.  And for approximately 30 seconds I thought of all the witty things I should have said, but didn’t.

I’m glad I didn’t fire back with some smart-ass remark.  I would have felt bad afterwards.  Instead of making the situation about me and how SHE afflicted ME, I could have approached the situation with a little more compassion and seen something was afflicting this aggressive woman.

A little compassion eases a lot of pain.  What do I mean?  So often we make things about ourselves.  When someone harms us, we take pity upon ourselves instead of seeing that the people harming us are afflicted themselves.  It doesn’t justify their behavior, but it eases our response.  Ignorance, anger, and greed tend to be the poisons that lead us astray.  If we recognize other’s behaving as they are, due to an afflicted mind, all we can do is be compassionate and wish for their happiness.

By firing back with similar behavior we only open the doors for our own minds to be afflicted by such poisons.

At the end of the day, the person who shoved you in line only wants to be happy, which puts you on the same level.  We’re all the same.  It just takes some longer to achieve happiness.

One thought on “The Art of Compassion

  1. I really loved this post, Jenna. This was a big reminder for me to take myself and how I feel at the time out of the equation and realize that something bigger is going on. We are all here for a similar purpose and sometimes it’s easy to forget that. Thanks for sharing

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