Last week, I invited everyone to join my Compassion Crew in spreading acts of compassion out to our community. As I started to work on my compassion acts this past week, I wondered where to start. Where do you start when you want to show more compassion? Compassion has to begin with awareness. You have to be aware of what your friends are saying and not saying. You have to be aware of other people’s actions. Awareness will give you enough information to know if there is a situation in which you can be of service.
For instance, I ran into a friend at the store and we were talking about Christmas. I had known her husband had been ill but I did not know he hadn’t been able to work since. She mentioned she wasn’t getting their son much for Christmas because he was young enough to not really know, etc. My heart immediately went out to her. Because she was putting up such a brave front, I didn’t push her for more information or offer suggestions because I didn’t want to make her cry when I could tell she was trying so hard to keep it together. Later I contacted a few friends about making donations. I am sending her an anonymous card with cash and gift cards to the grocery store. My hope is this will feed them for a few weeks to a month and give them a little relief. It took very little for me to be aware enough to know this was a situation in which I could offer the littlest of relief.
Laying a foundation of compassion one brick at a time.
My other act of compassion was to start a book club for reading inspirational and positive books. I figure not all acts of compassion have to be individual gestures. With this act, perhaps I can bring more people to the compassion movement and as a result provide avenues to assisting even more people. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. It is exciting for me. I did one post on my facebook page and 20 of my friends signed up right away. 1/2 live near me for a in person book club and 1/2 live around the country for a virtual book club.
It has not been easy trying to come up with ways to spread compassion. I’m still working on ideas. Part of the problem is I’m home most of the time and my days do not include lots of interaction with others.
Some ideas I’m developing are:
A friend has been unemployed for almost 4 years. I’m thinking of reaching out to all my friends who live near her and asking for their help in finding her a job.
A friend is going through a rough time and is currently pregnant with #2. I’m thinking of doing something at our next playdate to celebrate her and the new baby in hopes of cheering her up a bit.
Sending an unannounced package to my friend and her kids.
Writing a letter to a family member having a rough time.
As you can see, compassionate acts can be anything which brings joy, relief or inspiration.
Have you got a chance to do a compassionate act for someone in the past week? Has someone done a compassionate act for you? I would love to hear about it in the comments or write about it in you blog and link up.