Tag Archives: compassion

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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Come celebrate

…come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.                  —Lucille Clifton Some weeks it’s easier than others to write a post appropriate for a blog titled Defeat Despair. This has been one of the more difficult weeks. I had Clifton’s brief …

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A powerful call

“…we’ve found that optimism can be a powerful call to action. And it has a multiplier effect: The more optimists there are working for a better future, the more reasons there are to be optimistic.” – Bill and Melinda Gates One of the most pernicious aspects of despair is that it snuffs out the motivation …

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How important you are

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” ― Fred Rogers “Mister Rogers wasn’t a relic of a simpler time; he …

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To share our pain

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” — Henri Nouwen “…losing love Is like a …

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Sufficient proof

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to …

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A friend knows

“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.” — Donna Roberts In April, during the weeks Jeff was recovering from the surgery to remove his brain tumor, we were unable to travel to our York home. I started to worry about various things I needed to take …

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Just outside the gate

“A Trojan Horse sits just outside the gate of your heart. Its name is bitterness. It is a monument to every attack you have endured from your fellow human beings. It is a gift left by the people who have wronged you…It is rightfully yours. But to accept the gift is to invite ruin into …

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To save the world

“I have never met anyone who wanted to save the world without my financial support.” — Robert Brault OK, it’s comic relief time here at Defeat Despair, and what better time than election season to take note of the fact that even when our other gifts go unwanted and unrecognized, there is always someone who …

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Such a secret place

“I did not know what to say to him. I felt awkward and blundering. I did not know how I could reach him, where I could overtake him and go on hand in hand with him once more. It is such a secret place, the land of tears.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Whether or not one is alone, …

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Plotting

“I’m a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.” ― J.D. Salinger I’ve often identified with this quote, and never more than in the past three and a half years, since starting this blog.  Some of the world’s nicest people have landed on this page, and it’s a …

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One surge at a time

“The waves rolling in from the Atlantic today were high and white and threatening.  Then, later in the day, the ocean was suddenly very quiet again, very much itself and at peace with the world. I couldn’t help thinking what a life lesson there is in that kind of undulation, in that kind of natural …

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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 trials …

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Try to love

Some may come and some may go We will surely pass When the one that left us here Returns for us at last We are but a moment’s sunlight Fading in the grass Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now — lyrics from the …

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Vitally appealing

“The emotional energy created by the critical illness of a child is unlike anything else in a family. The medical situation devours much of the family’s life and leaves its mark on everyone involved: parents and siblings, grandparents and friends. Passions are generated, enormous resources are called upon, any moment can suddenly turn into a …

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What we give

“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” ― Ben Carson “No one has ever become poor by giving.” ― Anne Frank WOW, thanks to everyone who participated in the second anniversary blog celebration on Monday.  I will go into all the details below, but the short version is that $2600 …

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Available to all

“The rationale that etiquette should be eschewed because it fosters inequality does not ring true in a society that openly admits to a feverish interest in the comparative status-conveying qualities of sneakers. Manners are available to all, for free.” ― Judith Martin a.k.a. Miss Manners I’m not sure how etiquette came to be equated with …

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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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