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Relieving the Suffering of Others: ''I Choose Kindness''

"Every skill and talent we possess is a gift that can be used to ease the suffering of others and bring light into their lives."

Each and every one of us has an inherent ability to provide solace and relief to those who are suffering. It is within our capacity to extend a helping hand, offer support, and even facilitate their healing process. However, the very first step towards fulfilling this role as healers is to embark on our own personal journey of self-healing and self-love.

To embark on this transformative path, we must embrace a profound realization: loving and healing ourselves is not a solitary endeavor, but rather an interconnected process that involves reaching out to others. It may seem paradoxical, but the key lies in redirecting our focus beyond ourselves and toward assisting others on their own healing journeys. By engaging in acts of compassion, by extending empathy and understanding, we create a domino effect that not only helps others but also nurtures our own well-being.

By dedicating ourselves to the practice of compassion, we cultivate a deep sense of connection with those around us. We recognize and respond to their pain, and in doing so, we tap into our own capacity for healing. It is through acts of kindness, empathy, and support that we discover our own strength, resilience, and capacity for love. In essence, by actively participating in the healing process of others, we inadvertently heal and love ourselves.

Therefore, let us embrace the transformative power of compassion as we embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing. By extending our care to others, we not only contribute to their well-being but also unlock the hidden potential within ourselves to grow, heal, and love unconditionally.

''Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them humanity cannot survive.''

The act of easing the suffering of others encompasses a vast array of possibilities. It encompasses a wide spectrum, ranging from highly specialized roles such as surgeons who perform life-saving operations to individuals who provide simple comfort by bandaging a child's finger. Whether one possesses the skills of a psychiatrist or simply offers a compassionate ear as a friend during a coffee conversation, every talent and capability we possess can be harnessed to alleviate the suffering of others.

The beauty lies in the diversity of our talents and the infinite ways they can be employed to make a positive impact. Each person's unique set of skills, knowledge, and experiences opens up numerous avenues for extending kindness, support, and healing to those in need. It is not the magnitude of the action that determines its significance but rather the intention behind it and the genuine desire to bring relief and solace to others.

Thus, regardless of our individual abilities and aptitudes, we have the power to contribute to the well-being of others. By utilizing our talents, be they grand or seemingly modest, we can collectively make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who are suffering. Each act of compassion, no matter how small, has the potential to create a ripple of positive change and bring comfort to those who need it most.

''I choose kindness… I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.''
Max Lucado

To cultivate greater compassion and utilize our talents to alleviate the suffering of others, the first step is to prioritize self-love. By nurturing genuine love and care for ourselves, we develop the inner strength and willingness to extend that same love and support to others. It becomes a natural and automatic response.

Occasionally, individuals may question the importance of helping others, especially if they feel that they lack assistance themselves. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that true isolation is a rare occurrence. We are inherently interconnected, and our lives are shaped by countless interactions and influences. Furthermore, learning to offer assistance, love, and nurturing to others is a fundamental purpose of our existence. It is the very reason we are born into this world.

If you have ever pondered the profound questions of why you were born and what your purpose is, the answer lies within the essence of that last statement. The purpose of our existence is intricately tied to the act of helping, loving, and nurturing others. By embracing this truth, we unlock a deeper understanding of our role in the world and discover the fulfillment that comes from making a positive impact on the lives of others.

''I don't want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death!'' 
Anne Frank died at age 15, in the Nazi
concentration camp Bergen-Belsen.

The beautiful spirit of Anne Frank has lived on and lit a path that has, and is showing the way to being and doing what is right and good.

She had aspired to become a journalist, writing in her diary on Wednesday, April 05, 1944:
''I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write ..., but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent ...
And if I don't have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can't imagine living like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! ...
I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that's why I'm so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that's inside me!
When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?''
— Anne Frank
She continued writing regularly until her last entry dated August 01, 1944.

Throughout our history there are many more examples (to humanity's credit) of men and woman like Anne who have that very same divine spark and have used it to relieve the suffering of others. It is the same 'spark' that lit the Universe.

What is it?

It is love, and love is all there is.

''A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another;
as I have loved you, that you also love one another.''
—Jesus Christ


A Guide to Practical Compassion
by Joan Halifax

Known for her compassionate work with the terminally ill, Joan Halifax is a driving force of socially engaged Buddhism.

Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D., is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology in 1973 and has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology, was an Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Ethnobotany at Harvard University, and was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress.


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