When we roamed the land, we stayed in communities. Why? People didn’t go in their tent and not interact with the families living in the tents around them. Why? Because it was essential to work as a group in order for most to survive and thrive. Yes, we don’t have to go kill a buffalo for meat, weapons and clothing anymore but have grocery stores, McDonalds and Starbucks changed the need for us to work together to thrive? Are we now simply surviving?
I was raised by a community. I was raised with most my extended family of great aunts and uncles, even great great aunts and uncles, cousins (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc) We lived on the farm my great grandpa had build just down the road from the sod house my family originally built when they came to Kansas but it wasn’t just family. My family chose KS because of the Irish settlers who had already built a community they could feel safe in.
Me with three of my great aunts and a second cousin. I miss them so very much!
While I was not crazy about the fact the whole town new when I got a bra for the first time, I grew up with a security few folks find anymore. If something went wrong, the entire community came together to help each other out. I remember when the dad of a classmate died out in the field during harvest season. Soon all the other farmers were out there bringing in the rest of his crop even though they still had crops to finish themselves. They did because if they didn’t bring in his crop then his wife and children would suffer. The mentality of the community was if it happened to them they would want others to help their own family. It is called having compassion.
We are evolving into individuals living in separate McMansions ready to attack any possible threats to our home, small family unit or TV. We are having to handle crisis after crisis with little support or resources. Instead of helping our neighbor when she is hurting, we often don’t even know she is in trouble or feel some other faceless entity like the government will help her. When you don’t feel connected to a group of people, you start to go into the animalistic defense mode. It is scarier than the woman in her SUV waiting for her morning Starbucks. If you are in defense mode, you don’t care about anyone or anything else but survival. People all around us might not be afraid of a hungry wolf. They are afraid of other people.
Are other people becoming as scary to approach as these crocodiles?
I want to issue a challenge to my blogging and reader friends to do what they do best – find compassion for other people BUT not on the internet. For the month of January, I want you to do small acts of kindness for other people. It can be neighbors, friends, strangers at the store, etc. Every Thursday I will have a link up party and you can link up your stories. Share how you are showing compassion and/or how someone else showed compassion for you. Let’s take back our community and start building others up with compassion. I’m going to try to do 30 acts of kindness in the month.
The last week of January I will challenge you to do an act of kindness for someone you don’t like. I’m giving you fair warning because it may take lots of soul searching. People strike out when they feel attacked. Perhaps the person is in defense mode and your small gesture helps to heal them and you a little bit.
Who is going to join me? Link up this week and share your thoughts and ideas in a post. I can’t wait until next Thursday to hear all the stories of compassion.
Feel free to grab the Compassion Crew button and let others know compassion is starting to make a comeback one person at a time.