Err on the Side of Compassion

I have a blessed life.  Although I live in a place that can go from sun tanning weather on Saturday to snow on Monday, I’m not going to complain.  I have a beautiful fire with plenty of wood to burn.  I have the drapes open just enough to watch for more flurries but not enough to let the neighbors see me sitting here with my coffee, Kindle and laptop.  I think I can still dive on the floor and hide if someone comes around and rings the bell.  I  still have on my pajamas and my hair is a tangled mess.  It reminds me of the tumbleweeds I watched blow across the highway yesterday as I travelled to Amarillo.

But I am blessed in that I’m sitting here enjoying my coffee, my fire and my quiet music.  I’ve felt  contented lately and maybe that makes me a little more pensive than usual.  Or maybe I’ve thought about compassion more frequently because we did a Celtic service of compassion at my little church.  That’s another thing I’m thankful for in my life.  I go to a pretty cool little church.

As a matter of fact, the lady who told me to ‘err on the side of compassion’ was a member of my church and further along on her spiritual journey than I am.  I can barely remember what we were discussing but she said these words and what an impact they had on me.  When I’m not in a sugar-crazed state of mind, unable to reach a state of common sense, I try to remember these words.

Note off the subject – the snow has started again and it’s lovely.

It’s a lot like the Golden Rule, you know, doing unto others.  If I try to consider how I would want to be treated, I can usually make the right decision as how to react in regards to compassion.  It can be as simple as giving a little change to a homeless person.  I can justify not doing it because he might spend it on something less healthy than food, like booze or cigarettes, or I can give the change with the best of intention and not worry what he might do with it. I gave it with the intention of helping someone less fortunate than me, and let’s face it,  I can live without the mint chocolate chip/chocolate chip cookie dough cup of ice cream I might have purchased with the change.  This also helps me avoid those sugar-crazed states of mind.
Acts of compassion can also be as difficult as trying to make the right decisions about future generations and what we’re doing to help save the planet. Usually there are at least two sides to each argument. Think compassion. We aren’t the last generation to need this big ball of dirt and water.

As I try to do what my gut tells me is the right thing to do, I think about being held accountable for my actions of this lifetime. I hope I can honestly say that what I did, I did because I thought it was the compassionate thing to do and if I erred, I erred on the side of compassion. Isn’t that really how we’re supposed to live?


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