Is Compassion Lost?
I’m not sure where the little guy came from and to be honest, I’m not sure it’s even a little guy. We call him Blue Eyes because he has the prettiest blue eyes and I was listening to Frank Sinatra at the time. He’s not ours. I do think he thinks we are his, however.
He appeared around our pool deck one day just staring at us. One of the girls put out a bowl of food by the back door and we watched through the glass as he came up, sniffed at it, and then devoured every last kibble. Satisfied, he took a drink from the pool and then sauntered off. He was back that night for dinner. He’s been back every morning and every evening since like clockwork and most times he can be found sleeping in one of our lounge chairs in the backyard, much to the consternation of our other cats who are not allowed off the porch.
Eventually, the girls and I sat by the bowl and tried to get him to come to us. At first he was skittish but the prospect of food was too much to ignore. After a few times of just sitting there, we would reach our hands out to try and pet him. He’d duck back and wait for us to lower our hands, but he wouldn’t run away. We’ve almost been able to pet him with our persistence and have at least touched him on the forehead or ears.
The other cats are not happy. They think we should kick that cat out of our yard and send it on its homeless way. They do stare downs through the screen and meow from the windows. Blue Eyes doesn’t care. He’s probably used to the looks and complaints. When you’re hungry you’ll put up with anything.
Putting something down for the stray to eat doesn’t cost but a few extra cents in cat food and some time. However, to that cat it means the world. It’s the same with the people we meet that we rush past on a regular basis. Offering a hello or a friendly handshake doesn’t cost us anything. Yet, to them it may make the difference of a good day or a bad day, a change in course or their living situation, or it just may keep them from giving up. It costs little to show some compassion to people, to be sympathetic to their plight, to offer a meal or a car ride. However, it pays great dividends in the long run.
I know, I know. We’re a busy people with full calendars and lengthy To Do Lists. We have quite a bit to accomplish before we are called from this planet and we are constantly rushing around to get these all important things done. In the rush, however, we tend to overlook the most important calling on any of our lives, the art of compassion.
I have often said that for 90 percent of us, what we do for a living will not really matter in the long run. However, who we impact, who we invest our time and money in, can have an effect that will last generations. That’s why it’s so important to choose your family over your career, to invest in your children more than your portfolio. Compassion seems to be a casualty of our day with people’s eyes glued to their phones and computers and not able to see the people around them. We need to look up, to look out and to see. There is great need in the world and there are small needs. We cannot do everything. We may not even be able to do much. However, a conversation or a smile may be all someone needs to change the course of their day. We cannot afford not to spend the time.
The first month of the 2014 is almost gone. If you haven’t made your resolutions yet, how about making it a goal to be more compassionate this year? I promise, the one who will benefit the most will be you.
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