Be open, respect one another.

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.

11 thoughts on “Be open, respect one another.

  1. This is really good.

    I’ve really struggled for most of my life, to understand the apparent lack of compassion around. Only recently I’ve realised this is a gift that I have, since all this comes very naturally. I now have more compassion for those with less compassion! You definitely learn it, on top of your natural tendencies. It seems universal that people who’ve been through truly tough times, are highly compassionate people. When you do experience true compassion, it is such a great feeling because it’s so rare.

    1. I believe suffering births both compassion and wisdom and those who do not have the courage to enter that suffering will erect defences to judge those who do and may in some cases do drastic things to shut them down.

      1. Yes, it definitely looks like a genetic trait, too. It goes hand-in-hand with sensitivity, since sensivity is required to be truly empathetic.

        I did learn that there’s two main types of empathy – emotional and cognitive, which seems to be true. To be cognitively empathetic I think you need to be a thinking person, on top of the sensitivity.

      2. Yes, that is so interesting as I am still developing my cognitive empathy which in some ways seems to be related to mindfulness ability to put ourselves in another’s shoes not only just feel it, this has really made me think. I would be interested to learn more.
        And yes I believe high sensitivity is a soul trait…

  2. Very powerful piece of writing. I am so grateful to be the kind of person that does see a person underneath whatever armour, defence mechanism, pain and misunderstanding they made be carrying or portraying. I am truly grateful for my difficult past history because it has allowed me to have the awareness and understanding I need to help and support others 🙂

  3. You are so right my friend. It is the blessing that came from my childhood. Once in Seattle my husband crashed his bike on a busy intersection and was bleeding and his jacket all torn and people just kept walking by like nothing happened like he didn’t exist. We see this all the time in our society. Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece as hopefully people will read it and think twice before walking by someone who obviously may be in need of help. God bless you. Love ❤️ Joni

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