Compassion and Suffering

October 28, 2010 at 7:00 am 10 comments

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

When we are hurt by someone, our first instinct is not to help them or to show compassion.  Unfortunately, our immediate reaction may be to lash out or retaliate.  But what does this accomplish?
By enjoying a moment of revenge, we miss out on the opportunity to help others and to change the world we live in.  We are all a part of the same wonderful Source, so let’s choose to remember this even in times of strife.  One by one, we can show love and compassion for others, thus making this world a better place. Let us start today.
We all know that life is full of suffering, but not everyone knows how to cope.  You may be ignored, cursed, looked down upon, or cut off in traffic.  You may be insulted, yelled at, ridiculed or belittled.  No matter what mistreatment you face, stop for a moment to consider the suffering of the person who is harming you.  Instead of judging them or responding in an equally cruel manner, make a higher choice.  Be the “bigger” person.
Chances are good that the person who hurts you is not inherently evil.  He or she is just someone who is suffering deep within. Consider the pain that may be the root of his actions.  Even if it takes every bit of goodness within you to see the bigger picture, you are capable of the Highest choices.  You are capable of love, restraint, and compassion for others.
Everyone suffers at some point in their life, yet there is nothing stopping you (or me) from dealing with each other more gently, more lovingly.  Nothing prevents you from showing compassion for others.  Once you understand that hurt people hurt people, the answer becomes clear.
Fighting fire with fire only makes more fire.  By the same token, hurting someone who is hurt only creates more hurt in the world.  What role will you have in this vicious cycle? Will you help it to continue repeating itself?  Will you begin to break that cycle by helping instead others instead of retaliating?
Rudeness, frowning faces, aggression, bad attitudes, hot tempers—these are the defense mechanisms of a person in pain. Will you reach out with compassion, even if it means resisting your overwhelming desire to retaliate?  Will you listen more closely to what they’re truly crying out for—recognition, help, love, peace, relief, understanding, appreciation. You know the Highest choice, but will you make it?
Love those who are hurting. Bestow compassion and positive energy upon them. This is the path to healing.  As long as one of us is suffering and in need of healing, there is work for the rest of us to do.

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  • 6. Warren Baldwin  |  November 8, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Excellent post, and great quote to open the article. Hurt people hurt people. At sometime we will all receive that hurt, and we may even hurt someone with our own.

  • 7. Nicole  |  October 28, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Look at what I just got as my verse of the day from Air1

    God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

    ~ James 1:12

    He’s sneaky like that! Ties everything together smoothly!! lol

    • 8. Baby Pickel  |  October 28, 2010 at 11:25 am

      I LOVE when He does that – He does it SO often too. It’s amazing. Always makes me smile that much more!! oxox!

      • 9. Nicole  |  October 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm

        Yes He does!

        I call it the little thump/slap upside the head where He is saying, “LISTEN!!!” lol

  • 10. Nicole  |  October 28, 2010 at 10:24 am

    That’s my hardest struggle, trying to not lash out, to just remember that I need to remember that they might be having a bad day, week, whatever and that they are just angry at everything, not just me.
    No one knows really what another person is dealing with besides God. I have got to stop and remember that, and to pray for them and for me. Pray that I can keep my mouth shut and pray about it before I reply!

    Thanks for this wonderful reminder this morning!


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