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THINK!

SOLUM promotes thinking. Through studied application of cognitive restructuring, social skills, and problem resolution regimens a life can move forward. We see results daily.

In a recent study on mindfulness, it is determined that great logical thinkers like engineering students can develop better creativity also. So THINK is for all stages of economic and creative success? Yes.

How Mindfulness Can Help Engineers Solve Problems

Our January sessions start this Monday at 7pm. Take time to develop your creativity. Our average graduate increases their skills in core areas of thinking, social skills, and problem resolution by 200 to 300 percent. That is good stuff for you, your workplace and your family and friends. Anger reduces. Life is brighter. Who would not want that?

Get more information and register here. THINK! For a better life forward.


Contact me, the THINK Dr, Phil at phil@solumcommunity.net 940.580.4887

DADS, BE IMPORTANT AGAIN.

Cultural struggles tend to emphasize one area over another. Truthfully, many times many areas are important all at the same time. Dads are always important. Moms are always important. Grandparents are always important.

Recently, Dr. Ken Canfield, and a team bring life back to fathers.com (Fathers Are Important) and the fathering movement. It seems to have died out across the nation and become focused on the broken percentage of dads that were out of the mix. I am proud to be a part of that team and I encourage you to do your part in your home. Get in the mix. Put yourself back in the driver seat alongside the mother of your children.

Lifelong dads. Kids need ’em.

You are important. Live your role. 42% of kids have no father at home. Be one of the 58% of fathers that stay committed. 41% of children are born without a marriage. Be one of the 59% that have children in the safety and security of a committed relationship in marriage. Be the one.

Make fathering fashionable for your family.

Take a few minutes or hours and peruse the refreshed http://fathers.com. Put some holiday tips to work. Leave a donation for the team to be encouraged.

Will you rise with a listening ear and a compassionate heart and faith the follows through?

Will you rise with a listening ear and a compassionate heart and faith the follows through?

In these United States, there are some outliers that seek to breed a new division.  It like so many divisions of the past will be conquered and unity will prevail.  Short answers are not welcome.  Long listening is needed.

In the original war between the states, the United States divided over many issues. The biggest was the issue of individual and state rights versus federal oversight and decision making.  Along with that came the issue of slavery, a heinous institution that continues to plague our world and be accepted in the darker corners of the USA in human trafficking and domestic violence.  Those institutions don’t worry about race and color or even age.  They exhibit the willfulness of mankind to control the lives of those deemed weaker.

In the original war, we lost more men than in all other wars combined.

In the original war, we moved on to enslave and slaughter the Native American while attempting to free the African American.

In the original war, men like U. S. Grant kept slaves and fought for the Union and men like Robert E. Lee spoke against slavery and fought for his state of Virginia and the Confederacy.  It was a time, where honor and duty was to family, community and state and the divisions ran deep and deadly.  Brother killed brother.  Neighbors killed neighbors.   As a nation, we have come far and have far to go.  People will be people.

In the original war, we found peace as a nation through decades of unity.  World War I and II brought all together in a common fight.  After WWI, the Southern states began celebrating Memorial Day along with the Northern states.  It took a long time and a common pain to bring the nation to semblance of healing.  Civil rights remained uncivilly distributed and still pose issues causing us to work to decide what is a right and what is a privilege and what is a personal preference.  It is not easy work.  Our streets ran with blood during the civil rights marches and they run red again with anger and violence.

In the current war of ideas and preference, we move every day closer to destructive disunity.  National treasures such as the right to free speech are trampled. National treasures such as the belief that all mankind is created equal and worthy of due dignity and respect are trampled. Today, it is a few.  But a few can be built to many and many can destroy the union.  The union is a fragile commitment to civil discourse and respect of differences.  Multi-cultural means respect for differences not blind robotic similarity.   A man’s heart is a man’s heart and it will not be changed by imposition and anger.  It is changed in discourse and compassion.  Hate builds hate.  Compassion and contrition builds friends.

Compassion is what we have lost. In our search for meaningless meaning and trivial attributions we have abandoned our God and our commitments.  Marriage is meaningless.  Children are abandoned by their fathers at birth or shortly thereafter.  Our churches, our deepest social glue, are empty and entertaining.  Employee and employer have no real relationship but money and benefits.  We are like overused Velcro, ready to disconnect at the slightest pressure.

Compassion breeds commitment.  Compassion means we see and feel the hurt and pain of another and are moved to do something to relieve it.  Anger wants to relive it not relieve it.  Anger wants to point fingers and blame and shame.  Compassion wishes to hide the hurt and find a solution.  We have regulations that prevent speaking of medical and financial conditions, but no such honor of the issues and diseases of the heart.

Compassion breeds contrition. As a child, I was raised in a church that took a moment in every service to acknowledged that each of us is flawed and working it out.  As a community, we looked at each other and admitted our broken condition that we might look at each other in support of repair.  We knew we each were wrong.  We reminded each other and committed to grow a better life.

As I child my mother and father taught me respect for others regardless of their emotional, mental, financial or physical pains.  Hate is a pain bred of fear.  Fear is a pain bred of lack of love.  Love is a commitment to forgive and heal and sometimes overlook.  Love in action kills fear and disarms hate.

The only thing that will win this war of ideals will be acts of contrition, commitment, and compassion. 
There is a third party missing in the battle.  The voice of compassion can look at a rebellious flag, statue, or organization and speak peace.  Martin Luther King, Jr and those that followed him attempted to teach us that.  The voice of compassion can speak loudly a right direction in the face of strong opposition without violence without hate without anger.  William Wilberforce and the strugglers in England that brought about deep social change and ended slavery in the United Kingdom taught us that.  It is men and women of faith that have been our salvation in free nations over the history of mankind. It is not the men and women of war and hate that have prevailed in our free nations.

Should we follow the lines of hate and imposition versus compassion, we will become like others that give up freedom to be right and then have no rights.  Should the right hearted rise up and take the streets with compassion and faith, this moment too shall pass and be written in the history books as an uncivil unrest that was conquered by community.

Will you rise?  Is there an ounce of compassion to understand and listen in you?  Will you listen long and speak slowly?  Should enough join in this then the voices of dissension will go quietly and as a nation we will move another step forward in our quest for deeper unity.  It won’t be easy.  It never is.

Maybe we will become more disgusted with human trafficking and family violence and seek long lasting solutions. Maybe we develop strong patience to understand our nation of immigrants must merge and merge and merge again with growing ideas and assimilation of cultures.  That process never ends in a free nation.  We change.  We morph.

But to destroy our treasures of freedom of speech, religion, and assembly is frightening and unacceptable.  To destroy the dignity of mankind is frightening and unacceptable.  To destroy the free pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness is frightening and unacceptable. To fracture our families and accept and indenture any is frightening and unacceptable.  Our nation has freedoms. Will you rise with a listening ear and a compassionate heart and faith the follows through?

To Do One Thing

A few years ago, a transition occurred in my life.  They happen. Life is full of transitions.  It was a catalyst for a life change for me that I will never regret.  God took a normal  evil and produces good for me and others every day.  Life is good.  Friend and family are wonderful.  There are more transitions ahead.

How did friends handle this moment of transition?Image

One asked me, “Are you okay?”  But, he was unprepared to follow through and doesn’t return phone calls.

One asked me, “How can I help?”  And, encourages regularly and  faithfully.

One asked me, “What happened?”  But only wanted gossip.

One looked at me told me to get back and refuses my phone calls.

One denied all knowledge and deferred to others.

One listened and only responds at whim.

One thanked me for my service and faithfulness and expressed genuine regret.

One listened and asked for money from me for their business and offered no support.

One listened and asked me to join their multi-level marketing organization.

One looked at me, accused me, threatened me, and looked away.

One  listened, extended compassion, extended support, and continues to followup.

One listened, connected me with meaningful service alongside them, and continues.

One spoke at me and refused to raise head or eye to make contact.

One never did anything.

One remains silent, not knowing what to say, but staying faithful in love and friendship.

It is interesting how people treat you in moments of change.  All of these were “friends”, a few still are.

In all these cases, there is really more than one that responded this way.

As a friend, how do you respond?  How do you support others?  What is your motivation?

I’ve supported many transitions in organizations and families over 3 decades of management and community service.  Some were my transition, some were transitions of others.  Truthfully, these responses are typical in each transition.  People like change and transition on their terms and their timing.  People act all sorts of weird ways when they don’t understand or have demanding motivations driving them.  They  are normal ways people respond to change.

Each of these responses comes from either a motivation of self preservation, greed, control, power, loyalty, gratefulness, disinterest, encouragement, or compassion.

Each of these represents a person, to whom  many hours and years of service and support and encouragement were extended and prior to the transition called me, “Friend”.  How do you support your friends in transitions?

How should I respond to others in transition?

The golden rule still applies.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Though people may treat you many different ways, choose how you will treat others, now.  Who in your sphere of influence has gone through a transition and could use a helping word or action to move forward?  Don’t let the machinations of selfish desire dictate who you will be.  Be the best of responders.  Overcome normal evil with good.

Why do I say, “Normal evil?”  Well, many times we categorize transition or change as something bad.  It is not bad.  It just is what it is.  Without transition and change, we would stay the same.  BORING!  You can always put good interpretation or bad interpretation on a situation.  You can always choose to accent the good or the bad.  Choose.

Don’t be silent.  People need to hear your voice and see you.  How wonderful it was one day, when visiting a company to have one of those from a transition run up, hug me, and say how much they missed me.  Yes, that is a grown adult response.  A face to face handshake is powerful.  A card in the mail is marvelous.  An email of concern and encouragement is powerful.  Silence communicates fear and distrust.  Make a noise.

Don’t go away after you do one thing.  How lonely you must be to only value a person when you see them in your space every day.  That is not friendship, but convenience.

How should I respond to my transitions?

Close the Book: Today, I am closing the book on one particular series of events.  I am putting it in my past.  It has taken many months of processing and consideration.  The people involved are important to me.  They are more important than any event.  Every day I have risen to the day, accepted new challenges, faced demons of disloyalty and dishonesty, and enjoyed company of compassion and concern.  Today, I bury the history and have a memorial service.  I’ll light a candle, raise a toast to blessing and health, and move on with life, love, and laughter.  Someday, you need to grieve and go on.  Don’t live in the past.

Celebrate: Today, I celebrate the freshness of friendships that encourage, support, listen, and walk alongside.  There are some great people in the world, who understand and value friendship.   There are some not so great people in the world, who only understand what they can get out of you for the moment.  Be one of the greats in the face of the not so greats.  Don’t let them get you down.  There is too much of life to enjoy.