Compassion

In Honor of Thich Nhat Hanh


Our world is broken in so many ways.
People are alienated one from the other
In large scale manner
Media spread news of division 
Hate, rhetoric, violence, destruction
Countries poise for war
Other countries claim allegiance
Politicians lose sight 
Of the people they represent
They lose sight of truth, kindness, and respect.

A virus attacks the health of all
And this tragedy is used
As yet another, political tool

It is difficult to see the goodness of people
The fruit of the Spirit of Goodness
It is difficult to live kindness
We are wearied by hate
We are wearied by illness, suffering, and death
We are longing for a return of freedom
No more isolation, quarantine, mask, or disease

We have come up against adversity 
And much of our baser natures have been exposed
Kindness and compassion have been also present
But there is fatigue
In the face of so much suffering
And so much division
We are fatigued

We must find our own quiet
Each of us need pause
See the world which surrounds us
The trees, rivers, sky, stars
Whatever touches our hearts
Be present there
Away from humanity which wounds
Nuzzle your dog
Watch the birds fly free, 
In formation, they  share the lead, they work together

Feel the warmth of the sun
Or a blazing wood stove
Pray your own prayer
Breathe freshness in 

Then put your mask back on
And join the world
Renewed 

Now nourished, move forward to
Practice compassionate listening
Be present
Hear the suffering of other
Quietly, without judgment or fix
Holding only love in your heart
Listen
Breathe and listen – deeply

For that is where healing begins,
That is how suffering can be lessened.

In the face of all the wounds
Be for other 
Compassionate presence
The ripples will spread
Healing can happen
One life, one moment at a time.

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