In a nutshell, the willingness to feel someone else's pain. Yeah, OK, how many of us are willing to do that? Hell, I don't want to feel my own pain much less someone else's. This of course bodes ill for the world. With so much pain to go around, how do we go about alleviating it through means that are not chemical or iPhonic related? With so much pain to go around, is it any wonder that most of us are addicted to something like alcohol or nicotine or just about anything that allows us to escape that pain?
Does the willingness to feel someone else's pain actually help that person? And here the good reverend insisted on a hard and resounding YES! On the condition that said willingness go beyond mere words. "Oh, I feel your pain!" and "You must be going through hell!" just aren't going to cut it. Words are cheap. The only real words are actions. Compassion has to be able to transform suffering. At the same time, we have to take responsibility for our own lives, respecting the lives we've been given.
How are you going to be an agent of life and love to someone this week?