|The little prince's drawing demonstrates |
how blind we grown-ups can be.
Saturday: Yesterday, I visited a store to buy a gift, and the boss and his employees surprised me by offering to assemble it while I did my other shopping. I know the boss, he's a good guy and sometimes we talk about our Scottish heritage plus our daughters went to school together. I returned later to thank them and pay my bill.
Friday: After a great day at work, a friend asked me if I'd heard about the school shooting in Connecticut. I hadn't. A group of us sat together in disbelief, frustration, confusion, and then in debate and then finally, in silent bewildered respect for those teachers and those children. Later, I had my first migraine. I hope it's my last. Struggling through that pain, I thought about my brother and his daily battle with cancer, what he endures and how he copes and how thankful I am for his unconditionally devoted wife and how much I wish we could be together and how much I wish there was something more I could do. And then my wife joined me where I sat in the dark and she gently massaged my hands; her touch soothed the ache in my head and she sat with me while I endured essentially nothing in comparison to what my brother faces every day. I also thought about those grieving in Connecticut and how my wife's pure compassion was so soothing and transforming for me.
Compassion: even outside of our closest, trusted relationships it's the very thing that joins us and also dissolves what divides us, strangers or not.
People: dissolve what divides you from others. Start small in the biggest, biggest place: your own family. Leave some compassion here and there in your life too. On a skating rink, in a store, at work.
And leaders: we need a society based on compassion. Compassionate health care. Compassionate use of power. Compassionate policy. Preventative compassion. Is it really that difficult? Is it really that complicated? Isn't that what you want too? Isn't that what we all want? Isn't this what we need to do to protect our children? Why can't we see that?
"Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction." ~Antoine St-Exupery in The Little Prince