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What We Do Matters: Infusing the World with Compassion

Years ago, I was driving down the road listening to NPR (National Public Radio) and they were reporting about a pediatrician who had been molesting children for over 30 years; at that time, they estimated that hundreds of children had been affected.

My heart sank and I started to cry – deep mourning for the gravity of this. All the children whose lives had been affected, and everyone who came in contact with them throughout their lifetime. And, the pediatrician – everyone he came in contact with within his medical practice and beyond.

The more I thought about the growing number of people who would have been knowingly or unknowingly affected, my grief grew and grew – and overwhelm and hopelessness began to take over. How could this possibly be healed?

And, then I had a thought…

I could use this same formula to add up the decency and compassion that is infused in the world through those of us living and sharing NVC; many spiritual leaders like thich nhat hanh, Marianne Williamson and so many others; those teaching and learning yoga or mindfulness training or prayer or meditation. What about the thousands of people throughout the world who volunteer their time to support people in all stages of pain and tragedy. Every single person who is touched by these people and those that they touch are positively affected. It grows exponentially with each one of us who is inspired by peace and compassion and is automatically passed on to everyone who crosses our path.

As the list grew in my head, I started to cry again. This time from a deep well of hope and tenderness for how each one of us makes an impact with our big and small daily interactions. What we do matters – and many others are working towards peace and compassion.

I remember Marshall Rosenberg telling me once that anyone can be healed with enough empathy. I long for enough empathy for every child who experienced pain when seeing the pediatrician and every person who they encounter throughout their life.

I wish that for me as well. And, for you for any pain you carry.

And, here’s where I experience hopefulness. There’s more than one way to get there. Nonviolent Communication is one of my favorite processes for healing but there are many more than that. What’s your favorite method for healing, or for bringing / receiving empathy to yourself and others?

Tags: community, compassion, Empathy, Healing, love, Peace

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