“True compassion is not just an emotional response, but a firm commitment based on reason.” The Dalai Lama
On a lazy Saturday, I decided to take my son to the Mall of America. We played with Legos and walked through the Nickelodeon Universe amusement park. I watched my son smile, and I reminisced on the fun and joy of childhood, when a cry suddenly shattered my thoughts. I turned to see a little girl, waiting for her turn at a ride, suddenly dissolve into tears. Large, sobbing tears of despair. The ride attendant snapped, “Go find your mom and get some more money if you want to get on. Your bracelet does not have enough left.” The girl’s cheeks reddened and she ran off. I wished I had some money or a ride bracelet to give to her, but I had nothing with me. All I could offer at that moment was a kind word. “Everything will be ok.”
This vision haunts me, yet it happens every moment every day. Winners and losers, casualties of the money wars. The haves and the have-nots. How many times has this child already experienced this hard lesson in her short time on earth?
I cannot understand why the ride operator, a minimum wage employee probably struggling to get by, could have so little compassion on an innocent child. Perhaps this operator was tired or having a bad day. Perhaps she hated she job or her surroundings. I know she would probably lose her job if she let the child on the ride without the magic money bracelet, but where is the kindness? Is our capitalism so sacred that we have to destroy our most innocent victims because of the almighty dollar?
Some people would say that the mother is to blame. Where was she, and why had she not given enough money to her child? What did she tell her child before she sent her to the amusement park? Was she negligent, or was she simply struggling herself, a sad, fallen domino in the trickle-down economy that, at best, squeezes half drops of sustenance to those at the bottom.
No emotional compassion, never mind compassion based on reason.
What would I have done in this situation? I don’t know. I commit to treating with love and compassion all of the downtrodden and down-on-their luck. I want to bring healing to the world, most especially to our vulnerable children who hold kingdom keys, the splendor of heaven shining in their faces.
Yet, there could be no winners in this situation. Perhaps the ride operator could not jeopardize her job. Maybe she had little mouths to feed at home. Certainly she had bills to pay and responsibilities to uphold. Still, I would hope that I could give the sobbing child at least a gentler answer, some comfort in her small tragedy.
As a healer, I must strive to have true compassion, compassion based on reason. I see the evils of the world, and I will do all that I can to help and not harm. Compassion is a feeling, but reason involves action.
What action can I take? I can teach, I can blog, I can expose the darkness which I see. I can bring healing to those whom I meet, and I can guide others on the journey of compassion and love, just as I strive to find my own way on this journey.
Humans are a powerful species on this planet. We have a choice. Will we pursue darkness or light? Will we continue to destroy the innocent with greed, or will we choose compassion? If we all make a firm commitment to compassion, we will find true enlightenment, and we will bring the kingdom to earth.
Who will commit to compassion today?