The following scenario is taken from James Van Praagh’s book, The Power of Love : Connecting to the Oneness it concerns, judgements we make, seeing beyond appearances and into the heart of others.
Imagine that you are sitting on a moving train, filled with passengers…. suddenly a young man in his late 20s shuffles along the aisle, mumbling to himself. He falls down, but stands up once again. He is unkempt, his face is bloodied. He tries to get people’s attention, but many are repelled and move away or completely ignore him. But then, a middle aged couple get out of their seats to speak to him. They are shocked by the young man’s condition and motion to the conductor to come over to them.
After speaking to the young man, the conductor calls out to the people on the train. “Excuse me ladies and gentlemen, but I just wanted to show you what a true hero looks like. This man just risked his life to save the life of an eight year old boy who dashed in front of the train. Please give him a round of applause.”
As you observed this scene, what was your first reaction when you found out the man was a hero? Was this what you had thought of him? Had you been able to see beyond the appearance, or had you judged him? Could you sense something in your heart and feel love and compassion? In this life, each one of us is at a different level of awareness and understanding. It is important not to judge others, for you never know a person’s story, until you walk in his or her shoes. Everyone has a worthwhile story. Be open. Respect one another. Listen to others with kindness and compassion.
Compassion asks you to go within your heart and for a moment put yourself in another person’s place. A compassionate heart empathises with another person’s pain…. (it) brings people closer together. Like forgiveness, compassion is a gift for ourselves. When we take the time to forgive another and try to understand their situation and circumstances, we are putting compassion into action. As you make compassion part of your daily life, you will begin to rewire your mindset and know how to do the right thing without hesitation.