Disqualified to Speak on Compassion

AVATAR pencil sketch w:sunglasses:facing right
I’VE BEEN ASKED TO SPEAK about compassion . . . in the very week I have struggled with the topic. I guess I need to stop turning away from thinking about this week’s particular frustration and instead turn around and take a closer look at it.

Just what I was trying to avoid.

There are moments, as a speaker, where I feel disqualified because no matter how worthy I believe something is, I can’t claim to have enthusiasm 100% of the time. I grow tired. I get frustrated. I wonder how I got involved in the first place.

So when the request to speak comes at the end of a week when my Compassion Meter is registering low and I feel only 80% as compassionate as I wish to be – okay, maybe 50%, maybe less – I feel they should go ask someone else. I have nothing to give. I’m the wrong person. My only expertise at the moment is in the challenges to compassion. I keep trying to change gears, but I’ve made a half-dozen starts and ended up deleting them all.

I decided to stop swimming against the current.

I made another start, but this time it was to make a list of the times I’ve been ready to give up and the reasons. It felt like I was going in the wrong direction for an inspirational talk. But as I thought about them, I began to remember, in each case, what I did next. What emerged had the makings a good talk about the challenges and how to navigate them, because there are real challenges. Being a person of compassion is a lot more than having a sympathetic feeling toward a person in need. There just might be someone at the gathering who needs to hear that more than what he is expecting to hear – a rah-rah pep talk. It might be more practical and useful, and in the end more fortifying.

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
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3 Responses to Disqualified to Speak on Compassion

  1. Yes, I think sharing the struggles is always better, or as you said, “more practical” and “more fortifying.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Snippets/PB&J/Social Media | MarilynYocum.com

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