My friend Leslee Horner in Florida wrote the following blog last week. When I read it, I was reminded of just why I love this woman and all that she believes in and seeks out in her life. It's very, very difficult to find friends like this. I'm glad she's in my life. I've learned and continue to learn so much from her soul searching.
Compassion and Empathy
by Leslee Horner March 9, 2011
In this time we are seeing a rise in self-protection and fear. There is a sense of competition strong among us. The feeling that if something is given to a suffering brother it is thus taken from me. We're clinging to our morsels, standing behind a shield of superiority-that we have earned something we dare not be forced to share. We walk with blinders on. Ignore the pain of others until it becomes our own. We put mere humans on pedestals and worship them even as they fall. We ignore the beat of our very hearts and the spark of divine within us.
We have decided to hide our light under a bushel to protect ourselves as the world goes dark. We call on the name of Christ as we defend the unborn children and let those born go hungry. Why pick and choose the innocent to protect? Why not love and honor them all?
It is easier to close ourselves off. Censor the message of humanity. Life thrives on compassion. From that place we give. As we give we shall receive. As souls we are one-united as God's children. In service to one another we are made stronger. As we withhold love, compassion and support from those who need it our spirit becomes fragmented and dark. It is then that fear drowns out love and though we may claim to know the name of God we are far from his grace.
Take off the blinders. Step out of yourself. Invite empathy and compassion into your experience. Without it the light in this world is much too dim...
At the end of the day I don't care about this liberal verses conservative crap. I care about people and when I hear about the pain of others it breaks my heart. My utopia is a country or society where people care as much about the needs of others as they do about themselves, where they can actually take a second or two to imagine how they might feel if they walked in another's shoes instead of judging from a safe and cozy distance.
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