Shared tears for Ukraine and others . . !

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The compassion that you see in the kind-hearted is God’s compassion: he has given it to them to protect the helpless. —Sri Ramakrishna

AS I hear about the deaths due to bombings in Ukraine my heart goes out to the suffering families and yet I know there is more to compassion than it just being an armchair discussion and I will try to bring this out with a few little stories below:

A Story is told about a little boy with a big heart. His next door neighbour was an old man whose wife recently had died. When the youngster saw the elderly man crying he climbed up onto his lap and simply sat there. Later his mother asked the boy what he had said to their saddened neighbour. “Nothing,” the child replied, “I just helped him cry.”Sometimes that is the best thing we can do for people who are facing profound sorrow. Often our attempts to say something wise and helpful are far less valuable than just sitting next to the bereaved ones, holding their hand and crying with them.

In a London cemetery there were two funerals. The first little coffin was followed by a solitary mourner, a rather lost looking woman, evidently the mother. There were no flowers on this coffin, while the other was covered with wreaths and bunches of flowers, and followed by several hundred people.

At the grave side one of the mourners who turned out to be the father took a wreath and a large bunch of lilies from his own child’s coffin and laid them upon the other. The lost looking mother nodded and wept but she knew she was not alone in her grief. Small gestures go to the heart of those whose hearts are broken. Sometimes compassion needs more than just our tears or gesture.

In 1984 the newspapers told of the plight of a child in Mexico City. The child had been orphaned and severely burned in a gas explosion that took the lives of five hundred people. Millions saw the story and probably quickly forgot it. One woman in New York didn’t. She couldn’t get the little boy off her mind.

This woman’s concern led to efforts to find the boy, followed by two years of medical assistance, gifts, visits and finally adoption proceedings. The poor homeless boy who had felt earlier that he had lost everything was overjoyed to find that he had someone who cared so much for him that she gave up her normal life to care for him.

In a world where greed and materialism are showing their ugly heads compassion can be a powerful antidote. “A heartfelt tear can show our love, as words can never do: It says, “I want to share your pain—My heart goes out to you.”

 

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