“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.
“Speak to people with love and compassion, and you have the ability to create change in them.”
—Matt Valentine, founder of Buddhaimonia
Photo by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash
I feel very honored to be a business and personal coach. To kick-start each new relationship, I spend an entire day with my new client. This helps us establish a trusting and supportive partnership.
The level of transparency, openness, and connection that develops over time is often significant and meaningful to myself and to my clients.
There is very often a sincere caring and compassionate connection which mobilizes most clients to break habits and behavioral patterns to realize many sustainable changes they seek.
How and where can you bring greater love and compassion to selected people in your communities, to enhance their ability to create lasting positive change in their lives?
“Time is one of the most loving and compassionate gifts you can give someone, including yourself!”
Image from clock-desktop.com
About five years ago, Warren Buffett teamed up with Bill and Melinda Gates in a campaign called Giving Pledge, which has billionaires give away the bulk of their wealth.
Today, more than 130 individuals and couples from over 14 countries have pledged to give at least half of their fortunes to charities and philanthropic causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills.
Beyond the monetary gifts, many are also giving away the precious offering of valuable time – which is something we can all consider as we pursue lives of passion and purpose.
If time is the coin of life, where and with whom might you spend it more generously, to make a bigger difference in your communities?
Be sure to make time for yourself as well.
“Even a monster backs off when one feeds it lovingly.”
image from Photobucket by Seldric
Over 40 years ago, I worked my way through school as a “Deli Man” at a popular restaurant in Philadelphia called Jacks. I earned a whopping $36 for my 12-hour, Saturday night shift.
Saturday was the busiest day of the week, since many customers were purchasing ingredients for the traditional Sunday brunches held in the neighborhood.
One day, I noticed that all the other Deli Men had taken their 30-minute breaks just as a particular customer came to the counter. They left me with the woman they called “The Deli Monster,” because she was never satisfied and complained about everything.
Somewhere along the line, I had heard someone say “kill them with kindness,” so I determined to meet and exceed her every desire. She practically adopted me, and I became her favorite Deli Man for the rest of my time at the restaurant!
Who are some of the monsters that terrorize your personal and professional worlds?
Where would a kinder, more loving approach do the trick and have them back off as well as become a friend or ally?
“Love will draw an elephant through a key hole.”
-Samuel Richardson, 18th Century English Writer
Image from quotesgram.com
The image of an elephant being drawn through a key hole is difficult to grasp. How could the largest land creature, whose weight can exceed ten tons and whose heights reaching almost four meters, get through such a tiny opening?
The power of love is without question the source of miracles that often cannot be understood from a place of normal reasoning and logic.
When Lawrence Anthony, author of The Elephant Whisperer, passed away, the herd of wild elephants he had lived with for years came to his home to mourn him—a clear sign of their love for him, and their awareness of his passing.
Where have you observed the miraculous power of love in your life?
How and where would demonstrating even greater love in your world make the biggest difference?
“We rise by lifting others.”
—Robert Ingersoll, 19th Century American Orator
Image from joinabrightfuture.com
As part of my Personal Excellence Training program, each of my clients works on the key skill of increasing their relationship mastery. Without question, progress in this area has enormous benefits, producing qualitative and quantifiable results.
Some of the communication tools are:
- Taking a sincere and full interest in what others think and believe
- Listening with your full attention and honoring the value others have to offer
- Limiting our desire to speak and respond too quickly so that the other person can fully express themselves
- Being open and receptive to the views and contributions of others
How can you use the techniques listed here, and those you know well, to lift other people up in your personal and professional worlds? What benefit would you gain in doing so?
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
– Nelson Mandela
I am sitting in a hotel room outside Lansing, Michigan. It is early morning and I am waiting to begin my day by attending a regional coaching meeting where I will make my best effort to expand my mind, to forward my skills as a coach.
Beyond this mind-expanding effort is the realization that I sincerely enjoy being part of a community of fellow coaches. They have hearts filled with love and the generous desire to use their vocation to make their world and the worlds of others a better place.
What effort are you making (and what effort can you make) to strengthen and expand your own head and heart combo, in order to better your world?
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because some day in your life you will have been all of these.”
– George Washington Carver, scientist and inventor
My father, daughter, self, and wife Wendy
At my current age, I find myself often reflecting on my life and on those around me. I consider myself fortunate to be aware of myself and my world as I support others through coaching.
In the past few months, I’ve interacted with babies, seen young teens celebrate their B’nai Mitzvah, celebrated my son’s marriage, partnered with many middle-aged individuals in a variety of professional and personal challenges, and partnered with my wonderful wife in supporting my aging father.
What stage of life do you find yourself in, and how can you partner with those around you to appreciate and generously contribute to all the people you meet along the way?