April Twenty-Third, Understanding Compassion

There is a woodpecker on the tree in the front yard, just outside the door. It has been visiting that tree for the last three days. Pounding on a dead limb that I would really love to have cut down. This bird is in no hurry, the nearly incessant tapping has become just one more background noise to daily life. Even the dogs pay it no mind now. I listen to that pounding and wonder how that couldn’t at least begin to hurt after a while.

 Out back the two younger stray cats are playing. Chasing the dancing shadows on the ground, tossing something they have found upward or doing their best in a battle against a blade of grass or limb of a bush. They are still kittens, but they are strays. So far I have been unable to gain their trust, therefore unable to find them real homes. If I fail, their life will probably be short, as the dangers out there are many. The one who had started trusting me hasn’t been seen in almost two weeks. It may have been a year old.

The times that I go to hike up that mountain and back, I see people of various levels of physical fitness. I think I fall somewhere in the middle, able to make it without emergency help but not without a bit of a struggle. Some though, stop often and for varying lengths of time. Yet they continue. Determined. 

Years ago, there was a man who lived near us. He helped my parents with various types of yard work they needed done. He had various health issues but most times he could manage what they needed and they trusted him. Then some of those issues began to cause problems. Eventually he come to the understanding that if he was going to get all the help he needed he was going to have to take matters into his own hands. While his method was rather unorthodox, it worked. The last I heard he was doing much better than he had been. 

I watched someone once, who when approached by an individual who was hungry, took them into a restaurant and bought them a meal. This individual was not attempting to scam anyone, they were hungry, and they were fed. The expression on their face as they walked away with what may have been the first meal in a while, was humbling. 

My son is one of many motorcycle riders who participate in toy runs for children. I was present a couple of years ago at one of the stops. Watching those kids as they walk away clutching a new toy, that new doll, that piece of sports equipment was heartwarming. The expressions on the faces of the adults, seeing their child happy, and appreciative of those who made it happen, is humbling.

 I know of one who moved from living in a tent, to living in an aging mobile home. Acting for all the world as if they had moved into a mansion. 

I read the words recently shared in an online site about a homeless person who had died. One who was known and recognized. The sadness in the words seeped out and overflowed the page. This was a person, who even in their circumstances was known, and cared for, their loss felt.  

We are all trying, animal and human, to live this life to the best of our ability. We all have our struggles, our battles, our challenges. It is up to us, to find the strength of will and determination to overcome what we face.

 There are times, when we find that the people we thought would be with us, aren’t. They may be there in the beginning, but then fall away. Maybe the struggle was too much for them. Maybe their own struggles get in the way. Maybe, is a big word with vast meanings. As one facing struggles, we have to put maybe out of our mind and depend on more specific methods. 

When my husband died, I had family around me, friends who spoke caring words. While with family it lasted longer, with friends the support faded. There were no meals brought, no calls, no visits. I had to find my strength my way. It was the same when I lost my job. A few messages of support, a question or two if I needed anything, then those stopped. I knew, it was up to me. In those struggles, I began to lose sight of truth. That the times we feel abandoned, are one more lesson in compassion. When we realize and understand how it feels, then we can comprehend the suffering of those around us. Those who may not have the resources available, the strength, the faith, the hope.

 We are often reminded, that even as we strive to live the best life we are able, it really isn’t all about us. We are not alone on this planet, there are others here. Others who need us to reach out to them. To help lift them up from where they have fallen. To offer assistance in helping them to stand again. My feelings were hurt when I felt that my struggles were not taken seriously, but I have come to realize that there are others, whose struggles are much worse and in more need of support.

I think, that when we can set our personal struggles and hurt feelings aside, and strive to care more for others and see the fight they are in with their own personal demons, then, we understand compassion.

Each morning bringing a new day, a new chance, a new opportunity to find and be the difference.

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
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3 Responses to April Twenty-Third, Understanding Compassion

  1. Butterfly says:

    I loved the last paragraph in particular!!
    Amazing writing keep it up!!

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