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generations by gilad

Best-selling author, religious expert and TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong has studied all of the world’s great religions. She says she’s identified the common thread that runs through them all: compassion

Armstrong sits down with Oprah this coming week and shares the one thing everyone can start doing today to live a more compassionate life.

“Take a little practice,” Armstrong says. “You can do it all day and every day. When you’re in the office, or at home, or going to work on the commuter train, look at the person sitting next to you and say, ‘What do I know about this person? What do I really know about this person?’ I may see them every day, but do I know what makes her cry in the night? What do I know about the girl who’s checking me out in the supermarket? And sometimes I’m impatient [and think], ‘This woman’s stupid, she’s so slow.’ What do I really know about that woman? Her home circumstances, her suffering? Just get in that habit.”

“Behind each person lies a whole history of associations, of joy, of happiness, of events that we’ll never know.”

You can see clips from the Super Soul Sunday broadcast at:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/28/karen-armstrong-oprah-compassion_n_4345622.html?ref=topbar

reflective lake moving

What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are small matters compared to what lies within us. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

When a New Year approaches, we reflect, consider, and if introspective, relive those moments that were not so pleasant. There are moments when anger, frustration and pain ruled instead of kindness, empathy and consideration.

An apology that comes from the heart, with a sincere effort and thought within us to treat the situation or person anew, can help to heal a hurtful situation.  Mumbled words, if any are even said, are not contrite. Rather, they are said so that we can hurry off with a presumed clean slate and feel good about ourselves. However, apology and contrition is meant to be about the other person. The bad behavior is not to be rewarded or wiped away quickly before a Judgment Day.  The behavior we show all year long is that which recalls for us how we should behave, could behave, and strive to behave.

An apology is hard to make.  It is difficult to genuinely consider another’s feelings and acknowledge that what was said was inappropriate. There are feelings and painful experiences that we know nothing of and don’t acknowledge.  You have many of your own.  Saying “I’m Sorry” like you have a rash that you have to get rid of quickly is insincere. Even if you don’t think so, the recipient knows the difference.

But if the only way to get you to take the first step is to “fake it,” then at least keep repeating the apologies or attempt to say “I am Sorry” until it makes an impact.  When you internalize the effort, you come to see the needs of someone else.

We are not merely meant to apologize and assume we have a clean slate. We are meant to give an apology with forethought and a desire to improve the situation, recompense, and consider how we could behave better in the future. There is no confessional booth waiting to tell us to say three verses and give charity that can heal the hurt or harm that someone can inflict on another.

Expecting someone else to continue to relieve you of your momentary guilt or an effort to cleanse your spirit and soul is unrealistic. The only person who can make a difference in how you think, feel, amend and behave is you.  No one else is responsible for your bad behavior. No one made you hit someone, or verbally abuse them.

Part of apologizing, genuinely acknowledging the sorrow in the sorry, is recognizing your part in the hot-tempered situation and endeavoring to improve.  It means taking and accepting responsibility for personal development. Each person has an ego and removing it from the heated argument is difficult. However, that is the difference between us and animals; we must think first then react, not the other way around.

Each time a people, or person, believe that they have found the reason to treat someone, or some race badly, they have stripped away another piece of humanity.  The empathy and effort to put yourself in someone else’s shoes slows down our racing adrenaline and forces us to think about why we are sorry and why the other person deserves the apology, but most importantly, why they deserve the mercy of compassion.

We were raised to believe that G-d is more merciful than man. I have seen it many times, and discussed it with my family, as they too acknowledge it. Some people grow up as bullies; a negative reinforcement of their bad behavior teaches them that if they scream or belittle someone else, they get what they want. So, the bullying behavior becomes ingrained as something that gets results. Bullying can begin in childhood or when they get to be physically bigger and more intimidating than someone else. Cyber bullying and the harmful, devastating and often permanent losses are public reminders of how deep and harmful the infliction of pain.

My husband is a fully grown man and a very hard worker; he manages others too.  He is quiet, but aware of the personalities around him, and understands that a gentle or encouraging word is more effective at accomplishing something or making someone else feel good about helping.  However, when he is screamed at and told that the other person does not care or does not want to hear “no” or any other response, my husband does what he has to in order to get the job done and avoid another confrontation.  The fact that he does what needs to be done, despite the verbal abuse, and recognizes that the other person has issues, only shows his character and that he is thoughtfully aware of someone else’s needs.

However, the bully will rage another day because he saw that his screaming got him what he wanted.  It is an immediate action taken to receive an equally fast reaction.  There is no long term peace, nor understanding, because his gut reaction to behave badly means he is only thinking about himself. Getting what he wants is tantamount; the other person is merely a means to an end, a messy delay to getting what he wants as quickly as possible.

However, someone who asked in a nice way, or was honest enough to ask for help because of circumstance, would certainly get your input.  Compassion, empathy and kindness breed more; we increase the positive side of our humanity and try to forgive those sides of ourselves that are more ego-driven.  We acknowledge the incident and resolve to increase our personal Heavenly, G-d given attributes.  We cannot forgive another without forgiving ourselves. We cannot make a change within until we try to make a more positive change around us.  We must be the change we wish to see in the world and only we can make the effort to heal the World.

dont have to fight every argument

My Mother and Father hung this on their fridge door a long time ago. I forget these things when I am caught up in the brunt of the rushing world and the race to achieve supremacy and the top of the heap, the front of the line, the first through the doors, and First Class.

My mother’s faith remained unshakable throughout her horrible illness and passing.

The people I meet wonder what they have done to deserve the trouble that befalls them and wonder if anyone is actually listening. They wonder if anyone really cares about the trials and challenges of their lives. They wonder how people can treat others so badly and behave as if they are “less than….” when they are just as human as the next person. They struggle mightily to ask for help.

Humanity, Empathy, and Compassion are as necessary to our world as Water, Oxygen and Sunlight.

No one goes through life unscathed and we do not go through it alone, untouched by others and their behaviors. Sometimes a moment to reflect, and feel some faith, along with words to remember, may help to heal.

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Effective Immediately
Please be aware that there are changes YOU need to make in YOUR life. These changes need to be
completed in order that I may fulfill My promises to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in this life. I apologize for any inconvenience, but after all that I am doing, this seems very little to ask of you.
Please, follow these 10 guidelines.

1. QUIT WORRYING
Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?

2. PUT IT ON THE LIST
Something needs to be done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can’t help you until you turn it over to Me and although my to-do-list is long, I am after all…. G-d. I can take care of anything you put into My hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.

3. TRUST ME
Once you’ve given your burdens to Me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in Me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems, and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on My list. Problem with finances? Put it on My list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? For My sake, put it on My list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

4. LEAVE IT ALONE
Don’t wake up one morning and say, “Well, I’m feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here.” Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It’s simple. You gave me your burdens and I’m taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don’t you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started?
Leave them with Me and forget about them. Just let me do my job.

5. TALK TO ME
I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I’m in control. But there’s one thing I pray you never forget. Please don’t forget to talk to Me – OFTEN! I love YOU! I want to hear your voice. I want you to include Me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with Me. I want to be your dearest friend.

6. HAVE FAITH
I see a lot of things from up here that you can’t see from where you are. Have faith in Me that I know what I am doing. Trust Me; you wouldn’t want the view from My eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

7. SHARE
You were taught to share when you were only two year old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven’t heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.

8. BE PATIENT
I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it take Me a little longer than you expect to handle something on My to-do-list? Trust in My timing, for My timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone things I should always rush, rush, rush.

9. BE KIND
Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for My sake. I created each of you – it would be too boring if you were all identical. Please know that I love each of your differences.

10. LOVE YOURSELF
As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me for one reason only – – to be loved, and to love in return. I am a G-d of Love. Love Me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. It makes my heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to me.

Don’t ever forget………

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Thanks for stopping by! It means more than you know.
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