Tag Archives: compassion

Tough as nails

“Love is not warm and fuzzy or sweet and sticky. Real love is tough as nails. It’s having your heart ripped out, putting it back together, and the next day, offering it back to the same world that just tore it up.” – Glennon Doyle Melton Very few writers are able to cut through the …

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Those moments

“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering and I responded…sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.”   –  George Saunders There’s nothing at all wrong with acting in ways that are sensible, reserved, and mild.  But there are times when such demeanor …

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People together

“Adversity not only draws people together, but brings forth that beautiful inward friendship.” – Soren Kierkegaard Working together under difficult circumstances tends to strip away the vacuous and trivial concerns that we are too often preoccupied with, especially in affluent societies.  None of us want adversity or crisis, nor do most of us wish it …

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When we came together

“Remember the hours after September 11th when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefighters ran upstairs and risked their lives so that others might live; when rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon; when the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed …

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Sought and found

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” ― Albert Schweitzer Matt was so happy to be able to return to Camp Baker this year, after missing last year due …

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For the good guys

“Unfortunately, it is often the bad guys who play the leading roles in our memory…Let’s write a script for the good guys…It will be a musical, full of drama, laughter and tears, sorrows and triumphs, and it will end with a joyful song of praise and thanks.” — Barbara Gill, in Changed by a Child, …

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Anyone who loves

“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also …

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To welcome and help

“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.”― Jean …

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Exercise your heart

“Exercise your heart today.” — from a Dove Chocolate wrapper One year ago today, I wrote a post about the physical demands of sailing, using it as a metaphor for dealing with the challenges of living.  It’s not just our bodies that get stronger with exercise, though. Our minds and spirits need it even more. …

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No ordinary people

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” — C. S. Lewis My favorite author C. S. Lewis wrote many passages that touch my heart and open my mind, but none is more sobering and remarkable to me than the text that includes the quote above.  Think about it: every …

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Service is joy

“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.” ― Kahlil Gibran One of the great things about any sort of volunteer work is meeting people who care about other people and the world in …

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Sensations more painful

“There are few sensations more painful, than, in the midst of deep grief, to know that the season which we have always associated with mirth and rejoicing is at hand.” — Sarah Josepha Hale This week, a dear friend of ours lost her close and steadfast friend of over 37 years, after a courageous battle …

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Of courtesy

Of Courtesy, it is much less Than Courage of Heart or Holiness, Yet in my Walks it seems to me That the Grace of God is in Courtesy.  – Hilaire Beloc On a beautiful September day not long ago, Jeff and I enjoyed a few hours on the boardwalk at Virginia Beach.  As we strolled …

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Let us love

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” — John, apostle of Jesus (I John 4:7-8, NIV) In a chapter that opens with ominous warnings about false teachers, John …

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Do not wait

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” — Mother Teresa If I’ve learned anything at all since Matt was born, I’ve learned this: no government or agency can match the power of one dedicated and compassionate person to improve the life of another. Agencies, laws and governments are necessary, but to …

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The most effective technique

“People often ask me what is the most effective technique for transforming their life. It is a little embarrassing that after years and years of research and experimentation, I have to say that the best answer is–just be a little kinder.” — Aldous Huxley I thought quite awhile about Huxley’s conclusion, and I think it …

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The gift of crisis

“You have been offered the gift of crisis.  As Kathleen Norris reminds us, the Greek root of the word crisis is “to sift,” as in to shake out the excesses and leave only what’s important.  That’s what crises do.  They shake things up until we are forced to hold on to only what matters most.” …

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Sowing a seed

You never can tell when you do an act Just what the result will be; But with every deed you are sowing a seed, Though the harvest you may not see. — Ella Wheeler Wilcox It’s not surprising that several research studies document the benefits of volunteering to help others, whether formally or informally.  While …

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The greatness of a nation

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals.” —  Mahatma Gandhi While Matt was at Ride a Wave in Santa Cruz, a fascinating drama was unfolding on the beach nearby, where a stranded seal pup was being rescued.  I watched as workers carefully manipulated the net …

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In season

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within the reach of every hand.”  — Mother Teresa  With all the people in the world who are hurting for lack of love, can we really believe that it is within the reach of every hand?  Absolutely yes, if we think of love as something …

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When there is nothing

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”     — lines from the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling Over 200 posts ago, on my second-ever post on …

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Being peace

“It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.” — Thich Nhat Hanh The tragedy is that the world is a very broken place, and probably always will be so.  The beauty is …

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A friend who cares

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen …

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The day of liberation

“So now, muster your strength, and don’t lose heart. We shall all see the day of liberation. Have faith in life. Above all else, have faith. Drive out despair, and you will keep death away from yourselves…The same smoke floats over all our heads. Help one another. It is the only way to survive.” — …

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Too big to pass

“Trouble is a sieve through which we sift our acquaintances. Those too big to pass through are our friends.” — Arlene Francis There are all kinds of reasons why trouble tends to isolate us from others.  Many long to reach out to people in difficulty, but find it emotionally taxing to be present during the …

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