Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Meeting real needs

We have had many family discussions in the car when we see people on the roadside with handmade cardboard signs. Our decision has been to give to the physical need—by taking food or beverages to them or referring them to an organization that can help.

what motivates compassion?

Many of us have our faith, family, or mentors to guide us. My grandparents and parents laid the foundation by teaching us to “do unto others as you would have done unto you.” This is not a guarantee that one will get ideal treatment. Instead it is a hope that possibly, someday, each person will treat everyone else with kindness and will receive kindness from others.
There are people suffering all around us. Many are in the cubicle or office space next to you, and we are not aware of their circumstances.

what difference can we make?

Compassion is stopping to extend our hand to help lift someone out of the miry clay. Too many times we walk by saying, “That is so sad. I should donate more to charities this year. Maybe they can help the homeless.”
Compassion puts pricked hearts into action. Compassion drives us to find out what we can do to make a difference for someone—something to change their situation.

how can we show compassion?

  • Donate your talents and time. Answer phones, cut hair, organize items for distribution, make blankets, or discover how to be a mentor or a tutor.
  • There may be someone in your office that is juggling errands and appointments without a vehicle. Offer to drive them where they need to go.
  • Plan a home-cooked meal or potluck lunch for coworkers or behind-the-scenes support staff. Bring take-away containers so people can share the meal with someone at home or a neighbor in need.
  • If you know someone is struggling with specific issues, offer to be an accountability partner. Chart milestones together, celebrate their victories, and help them regroup when they experience setbacks.
  • People are most vulnerable when the day is done. Start an after-work ball club or walking/running team.
  • Many families are struggling with addictions, loss, or disappointments. Can you be a source of encouragement or service? Be a willing and patient listener.
Article by Marti Vickery
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