Monday, July 26, 2010

On the road to Jericho...

* S: (n) compassion, compassionateness (a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering)
* S: (n) compassion, pity (the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it)

I have a confession to make. My husband is more compassionate than I ever will be. He really is. I know folks who know us may think differently. My husband is a matter of fact guy. He tells it like he sees it and that can be abrasive at times but it's also refreshing. He will never tell you something that he doesn't feel is true. For that, his honesty is extremely refreshing especially when you come from an ethnicity that prides itself in not saying it like it is to avoid disgracing your family. (see #1 Keqi)
Anyway, my husband is just one of the folks who just tries to help out folks that he thinks truly needs help. Don't get me wrong. I don't think I'm cold and heartless but I do know that I probably would stop and ponder, "What would happen to me if I stopped?" before venturing out to help like the Samaritan.
I know this is something I need to work out. It's probably one of the harder things for me to tackle. Now at this point I'm going to get a few of my friends emailing me or calling me. "PG, you are generally the first to respond whenever someone is hurt around you. You aren't afraid to bandage their wounds and calm them down." "PG, you were the first to start an annual collection for a nutrition program for NYC kids." "PG, you are the first to take in strays to the point you had a mini zoo in your apartment." "PG, on Thanksgiving you wake up early to make dinner, forego the family lunch and go to volunteer at the Seniors Thanksgiving shindig and then rush back to serve a meal to the family."
There is compassion where you stick yourself out, heart and soul, and their is compassion where you keep your heart under your sleeve. DH's heart is out for the world to see. My heart is clothed away behind a cheesecloth for fear of pain.
I know part of it is my preference for being insular. I am honest and tell the truth but I keep my heart at a distance. I've always been this way. There is probably only a handful of people I will allow my heart to be open for completely. I'm sure there is some deep seeded psychological reason for this but it's currently suppressed.
I'll go far to help but just don't ask me my name or ask me to evangelize. DH, he'll happily give his name and even invite folks to our home and tell the world about something he is compassionate about.
Years ago, maybe eons ago, my husband and I got into a fight about something silly and he mentioned how he was chased by a pack of homeless men because he inquired about their dog. DH: I've been busy this morning. PG: Being foolish is what you've been. This is the compassion I'm talking about. Seeing if the missing dog we read about is in our neighborhood is one thing. Seeing if the missing dog is the dog the strange weird homeless guy who lives under the highway has by yourself at the crack of dawn is another.
Now, I know this example is probably a bad one but DH didn't even give it a thought that maybe there was a better way to show compassion. He just went with his heart. I need to be more like that.
My husband actually said to me that he knew I was someone special to him when I started letting him into my world. I need to share my world more.