To be able to connect with another’s pain is being human. Even if you can’t do much to help, wish that person well. That’s being compassionate.
There’s a lady who we often see at a community event that we go to. She’s a young mother, probably in her early 30s. Her 10-year-old is struck by muscular dystrophy. Of late he has not been coming with his mother. The other day she told us that her son cannot come to these events anymore because of the flight of stairs that he has to climb at the venue. Given his deteriorating condition, she said, he can’t even move, let alone climb. I have always found an intrinsic sadness in the lady’s eyes. Even when she is laughing and chatting enthusiastically, I have found her eyes to be searching for an answer – perhaps seeking to find out why her son is specially endowed?
We felt for the lady. We found ourselves powerless to be able to help her or her child in any way. So, we simply wished her well.
Pain is a queer phenomenon. Even when you make peace with your pain – by accepting it – it will still haunt you subconsciously. For people who are connecting with you, who are around you, feeling your pain all the time may not always be possible. But they sure do sense how much you are going through and how difficult it must be for you. It is human nature to feel another’s pain. But allowing that feeling to drive you to constructive action – not always with the potential to alleviate the other’s pain – is compassion.
Sometimes the best thing you can do to someone in pain is send them your positive energy. You don’t even have to be near the person. You can be in another city or even continent. But thinking about that person deeply, and the pain she or he is going through, and sending your positive energy helps greatly. You could send your energy through a prayer – if you do believe in the act of praying. Or you could just send out a wish into the Universe wishing that person well.
Compassion works both ways. It never is visible. You can’t see it or touch it. But it is very powerful. It will touch you. You will be able to feel it. When you are compassionate to someone in any situation, even without your ability to help that person physically, that person will feel good. And so will you.