Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 29

I hope you all enjoyed a week of ENOUGH!

The challenge for this week is to PRACTICE COMPASSION. Compassion means recognizing the suffering or pain of another and desiring to alleviate it or aid in some manner. Compassion seems to come naturally for some, while it is a skill that has to be learned and practiced by others.  And all of us move between exercising compassion and judging - it is a normal human reaction to what we see in front of us.

Have you ever had a situation like this - you are at a department store and you see a very plus sized woman wearing spandex pants and a crop top? Do you judge? Or do you feel compassion for her, wondering what in her life has compelled her to dress in a fashion that is so clearly unflattering to her figure? Or you are walking a city street and see a man in dirty tattered clothing sitting on the sidewalk begging for change... do you judge? Is your immediate thought "he should get a real job"?  Or do you feel compassion and wonder what circumstances in his life brought him to such a sorry state? Were you taught growing up to not give the homeless money because they will just spend it on alcohol or drugs?

"Our need to judge continuously clouds our need to love unconditionally. Drop judgment and replace it with compassion. Nobody needs your judgment but everyone could do with a little compassion."  Cherie Roe Dirksen

This week I'm challenging you to notice every time you find yourself judging another person in any fashion. And if you catch yourself, try to replace that feeling of judgment with compassion. Can you find one thing about that woman to compliment her on (a pretty smile, a nice purse...)?  Can you offer that homeless man a cup of coffee or a word of encouragement?  Stop judging. Assume the best, not the worst. Reach out to your fellow humans and practice compassion.

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