Compassion, Available or a Pipe Dream?
Compassion holds as strong desire to alleviate suffering. Many traditions include compassion as the foundation for healing. Can compassion be an option during the most trying of times? Is the ideal of compassion only a pipe dream in view of a hostile world? Do we extend compassion to ourselves?
As a former network news editor, I wanted to make a difference, to inspire people on how to treat one another with kindness, respect and compassion. This intention got tested daily, when the bombardment of horrific images show up, mirroring the distress of humankind. I had to edit out all the images not suited for broadcast. One particular story still holds a deep place in my heart. I cried for three days while editing stories from the Rwanda killings. I did not have the self-centering tools then as I do now to process energy.
There was a sound bite from a refugee camp worker who worked for “Doctors Without Borders.” This non-profit organization positioned triage for those fleeing the inhumane ethnic cleansing. Over ten thousand people were dying daily from cholera in the refugee center of Kigali. I saw the bulldozers move bodies into makeshift mass graves. The volunteer medical worker stated, “I am here and it’s overwhelming. One million people are here and it’s overwhelming.” She was physically there and questioned her own ability to help, so how could I make a difference over 20,000 miles away?
Since that time, news continues to shed light on those in need. Do we feed into the resolve that nothing can be done? Is compassion alone enough? Well, it’s a powerful start. And awareness plays an important part. What is the focus of attention, the lack or the possibility?
I found meditation to be an absolute key to quiet the dialogue of lack and fear. It was my first meditation teacher, Dr. Deepak Chopra, who in 2007 told me to “Turn off the news, start telling a better story.” This helped me on so many levels. It doesn’t mean I’m blind to what is going on, it gives me latitude to shift into my heart and then effectively create from that space. I truly feel the world is witnessing a giant heart opening with the collective consciousness. The worldwide peaceful marches echo this. And within this collective compassionate voice, I’ve found my home.