"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
From great pains arises great compassion
com-pas-sion Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin compassion-, compassio, from compati to sympathize, from Latin com- + pati to bear, suffer
Date: 14th century
1. Sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it
2. Something that is growing a whole lot bigger in me than it used to be.
The hurt you have experienced always has a direct effect on the depth of the compassion you can feel. That’s becoming a rule in my life. I’ve spent the last many years being a rhinoceros in a kite store, not caring or in most cases even knowing who I was hurting or just tangling up with my blunderings through life. And in a rule learned from my father, it was seldom my fault and if it was then it was still someone else’s.
How petty it all seems now.
Just today for example, my wife has had to go home from work because she is feeling sick (she’s scheduled for surgery in a couple of weeks) and she called to let me know. Before, I would have been filled with suggestions on how to fix this or that, what to do, and especially what SHOULD have been done. Now, all I feel is a sympathetic hurt inside, a pain that she is in pain. I would do anything I could to stop her pain yet I know there is not much I can do, if anything.
A coworker here had problems with her computer this morning. I immediately dropped what I was doing to go try to fix it because I could tell how frustrated she was with it, and I felt sorry for her. Then the next problem she runs into was actually my fault, after 30 wasted minutes of looking for something I had all the time and had forgotten. She was gracious, I was apologetic, and felt as frustrated as she had to begin with.
I am learning to accept my own shortcomings. And I have far more than I suspected.
Tonight is a banner night. I am having some friends over (yes, can you believe it, I actually have FRIENDS for the first time in ten years!) for dinner. We do this every two weeks, kind of a revolving dinner party. Tonight I am serving BBQ and Chicken Bog. Its already all fixed except for cooking the rice. These dinners always make me feel good, interaction with people is something I have been craving for so long, and these people are some of the best I have ever known.
Oh, and I'm serving hushpuppies. I am not supposed to eat things like that but what the heck, live dangerously.
“I laugh louder, cry harder, take less time to make up my mind … I’ll be better than I’ve ever been.” – Cindy Bullens