Compassion is currently a buzz word, as it should be. Compassion is the opposite of bullying. It looks deeper than the surface of an individual and grants grace as opposed to judgement. Compassion starts with the ability to feel empathy. Compassion is the fruit of empathy. In our highly charged culture of self survival and the Facebook world of instant response, we have somehow lost the art of contemplation. It is the ability to understand someone else’s viewpoint and to care about another person's feelings that will allow you to heal broken relationships. A person must first be able to connect to their own feelings and be able to articulate them before they can recognize someone else’s feelings. It takes time and depth to show compassion. It takes perspective and wholeness to heal. Take, for example, the discord in politics the last 4 years. Friends and family torn through anger and self-righteousness. Why? I, for one, am probably one of the most hot headed liberals you will ever meet. I have made my share of knee-jerk reactions and have had to apologize more times than I want. But when I take the time, sleep on it and consider the underlying message of the victim or the attacker, it usually boils down to fear or misunderstanding. So what is the truth, what matters? Love matters, kindness matters and peace matters. If we open the morning with a commitment to compassion, ignore what doesn’t matter and choose empathy, we will heal 90% of our relationships. Some cannot be healed and that is okay. Develop the wisdom to know the difference. Be compassionate first with yourself. Forgive and nurture the person you are and make sure to laugh at yourself. That is good medicine. Why take yourself so serious? No offense, but each one of us plays a very small part in the overall scheme of things. The irony is that, through love, we play a huge part in the cosmos. Consider how quickly a political or cultural atmosphere changes. Be bold and be kind. Resist and love. These concepts are not mutually exclusive. You can stand up for what you believe without stepping on someone else. We are all learning, we are all growing and we are all heading to the same end. On the journey, acts of compassion will pave the way for a life of beauty and purpose. Be quick to forgive, to understand and to allow for differing opinions. The forest teaches us the beauty of diversity. Human beings are full of the magnificence of individuality. See us as a field of wildflowers. We can coexist and we can love each other not in spite of our differences but because of our differences.
Peggy Perry-Hill has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan. She spent many years as a public school teacher. Her goal was always to be a full time writer. She has spent the last 25 years traveling the globe with her husband John Two-Hawks, presenting concerts workshops and retreats. Her mantra has been 'making music and making friends'. Peggy has also written several books with her latest being 'Give Peas a Chance' a nostalgic 60s cookbook which she wrote to hold onto some levity in her life during the pandemic. She has facilitated Women of Wisdom (WOW) retreats for over 15 years. Peggy is the owner of Circle Studios Records and CSR Media Publishing Company. Her passion is compassion and she has stood for decades by another mantra, Love is a Verb, so her main goal in writing is to inspire her readers into action. Peggy Perry-Hill is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves writing, music, theater and culinary arts.