Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Compassion Versus Irritation

Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves”.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
I “practice” compassion in my life because I want to be a compassionate person.  I do not “practice” irritation although some days I am more irritated than compassionate.  Sometimes I can be extremely patient while other times I have a very short fuse.  What I try to understand is why I am so patient some of the time and so irritable others times.  It is relatively easy for me to be compassionate with the weak, the needy, and anyone with a legitimate need.  I am quickly irritated with fools, anyone who is pompous, or people who are just annoying.  As I once read, “I love mankind!  It’s people I can’t stand”!  I like myself better when I am compassionate and in my heart I know I should even be compassionate with fools, pompous people, and those who annoy me.  However, I am still a work in progress so I sometimes have to be compassionate with myself as well.  I once saw a cartoon of God making the world.  God was pictured as a chef and the world was a stew or a gumbo that God was making in a kettle.  In God’s hand is what appears to be a salt or pepper shaker but it is labeled “Jerks”.  While God is adding this “seasoning” to the world he is saying “Just to make it interesting”!  There will always be people or situations that test us.  When we are at our best we will be compassionate or at least patient.  When we are feeling irritated, it is an opportunity to learn the true meaning of compassionate.  That which tests us can be our greatest teacher.  

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