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Moving Toward Compassion


Moving Toward Compassion

J Rourke

by: J Rourke

Ive been working on compassion. Its the aim of my spiritual workto focus on interaction that is healing and care-full. Unfortunately, compassion isnt my default, and I dont always get there. But its a goal.

An example from work.

 She came for her drink 15 minutes after I’d finished it.  

Yes, thats yours, I said. Yup, almond milk Yeah, I can put it in a to-go cup.

She asked a few more questions. I offered a few more snappy-direct responses. She left angry. It was not my best moment.

But what would my best moment look like? Is there a best for compassion? For truth-telling? Discipline? Peacemaking?

The problem is that when I take time to consider what a best might be, I forget about the reality of my situation. I could have been more compassionate with that customer, but I couldnt have been less busy. I couldnt have made her get her drink earlier. I wouldnt have stopped doing my other work to focus just on her. On the other hand, I could have slowed down just a little. I might have made better eye contact.

So maybe theres no best. But I know I can work toward better.

Compassion, then, is a goal. And a guidepost. A beacon. A destination that always seems farther away because as I move toward compassion, Im becoming more aware of what compassion is, about what it means, about how far I still have to travel.

And travel I must, to live is to move. I work at paying attention. At reflection. Ive chosen a point on the horizon, and Im walking toward it, knowing the best is not to arrive, but to see the destination and trod on.

In the meantime, I feel a little bit healthier, a little more fun to be with, a bit more capable. Im even a little more compassionate.