“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain, but being moved to help relieve it.”
—Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence Author
Image from Unsplash by Piliippe Leone
When I visit my 92-year-old dad in his assisted living community, he often says, Getting old is not for sissies! Before moving into this community, he lived with my mom in a senior community with about 15,000 other residents, living as happily and fully as possible.
As someone who tries to be mindful and observant of my surroundings, it is easy to see the various levels of physical and emotional pain most people experience. To my delight, I also observe tremendous compassion within these communities. It is common to see how the majority of the people do their best to help each other.
These efforts give them purpose and at least temporarily take their focus off of their own troubles.
Where are you currently moved to help relieve the pain others may be experiencing in your world? What one action can and will you take today to demonstrate a higher level of compassion?
Consider reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande to explore aging and how we can better support one another through this process.
“Change is inevitable. Growth is Intentional.”
—Attributed to Glenda Cloud
Image from Cadillac Gardens
A somewhat recent movement in many cities is the community garden. Residents and community members take modest sized plots of land that have gone unused or, in many cases, represent urban decay, and renew them.
Over the years, most abandoned lots have changed for the worse through the proliferation of weeds, trash, and even vandalism.
To improve these areas, committed community activists and volunteers intentionally clean up the lots and begin flower and vegetable gardens to renew and beautify their towns.
Where can you intentionally bring a greater growth mindset to create the positive change you wish to bring to your world?
“There comes a time for departure even when there is no certain place to go.”
—Tennessee Williams, 20th Century American Playwright
Image from Flickr by Bruno Geiger
Take a few minutes to examine your personal and professional communities. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much do I look forward to participating in this community?
- How well do the people in this community share my vision and values?
- How much influence do I have on the goals and direction of this community?
- What learning and growth opportunities are possible in this group?
- How well does this group fulfill my desire for a purposeful life?
Where might you need to make changes – large or small – in how you spend your time, and who you spend it with, even if there is no clear alternative place to go?