Hello there! Happy New Week to you. How have you been these past months? How are you holding on as the year is coming to an end? What are your thoughts about being compassionate?
Sometime last week…
I walked down to the bank across the road from my workplace, to use the Automated Teller Machine (ATM). There were 6 ATMs, but the queue was behind a single machine, so I deduced it’s the only one dispensing cash.
“Who is the last person on the queue?” I asked to avoid story that touches the heart, thereafter, I booked my space, following the culture.
Earlier, as I was making my way to the queue, I noticed a young lady, let’s say her name is Jade. She alighted from a Keke (tricycle) and made straight for the lonely ATMs, carefully, she tried one after the other until she was convinced, there are no cash in them and has no choice but to return to the queue. By this time, 5 more people had arrived, and she will have to be the 6th person after me.
She looked closely at the long queue and I could tell she gave up even before trying. She looked around, found a comfortable surface and sat on it. By the time it got to my turn, I had almost 12 people behind me and I was wondering what Jade’s strategy was. All the while, she sat there quietly, with her head bowed, looking distressed.
Guess what I did!
First, I used the ATM when it was my turn. Next! I called Jade, who was still sitting down all by herself.
“It’s your turn now” I said calmly, then, turned to the man behind me “It’s actually her turn”.
You needed to see how her face brightened up the moment I saved her a spot. I walked away afterwards and now I can’t even remember her face. I’m sure I made her day at the ATM stand!
What is your Perception of being Compassionate?
To become a person of compassion is way bigger than merely professing the words “I love you”, “I care about you”, “I am concerned about poor and vulnerable people” etc. You will need to act it! Without showing how caring you are through words of encouragement, acts of service and standing up for the weak/vulnerable, you won’t really pass as being compassionate.
Also, being compassionate begins with you. Be kind to yourself, only then will you be empathetic towards others.
Be Compassionate and Expect Nothing in Return
Few weeks after my 10th birthday, I was walking home from school, exactly few blocks away from my house, just opposite the First Storey Building in Nigeria, when I sighted this little boy of about 3. He looked lost and scared like he just escaped the grip of a monster, he was wearing nothing but a dirty short. The boy ran to me, clinging, crying and panting “mo fe lo s’ile” (Yoruba for I want to go home).
I looked around and discovered people were more concerned about the scorching sun than look out for a dirty poor boy!
“What’s your name?” I asked
“Seyon” he responded, still crying, raising his legs from the hot sand. If you know the beach nature in Badagry, you will understand how the sand burns under the sun – a ‘fiery solid’.
“Where is your house?” I asked.
“Mosalasi ni Sango, Ile Dudu” (Yoruba for the Mosque at Sango, Ile Dudu) he responded with a beam of hope that touched me deeply.
I quickly turned around to take Seyon back to the place he mentioned, even though it will take me 15mins to get there on foot and another 15-20 minutes to return home.
You know what!
We were able to trace the area he described. As soon as he recognized his compound, he removed his hands from the lock we formed and ran away. He dissolved into the thin air. Totally.
At this point, standing under the now boiling sun, I became the lost child, only that I won’t have to wander. I trekked home feeling unrewarded afterwards, simply because I had looked forward to getting an appreciation. I learnt that very day never to expect something in return for a compassionate act.
Our commitments henceforth should involve being kind to ourselves, family members, friends, colleagues, neighbours and most importantly doing everything in love without expecting anything from them.
With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.Ephesians 6:7&8 (KJV)
In what area do you need to be more compassionate?
- Paying attention to yourself?
- Speaking in love to others?
- Displaying empathy?
- Helping others?
Do drop your comments below and share this piece if found useful. Thank you!