A pastor approached a soldier who lay wounded and asked him.
“May I read out from the Scripture?” The soldier replied, “Would you please give me some water?”
Further, the soldier asked for something like a pillow; next he asked for a blanket to cover his body. The pastor thought that having got all these, the soldier would let him read some holy verses. But what the soldier requested of him was not that. He asked him to read some verses, if there are, which would motivate him also to do unto others what the pastor did to the soldier. All those who accept mercy and kindness develop an urge to give without any desire for rewards.
!929 to 1939 was a period in which America suffered greatly from famine and scantiness. Those days, the govt. had appointed service agents to reach the suffering citizens. According to a popular story, one of them reached a woman who hadn’t anything to sleep under or enough food to sustain. The agent asked the old woman what she would be doing if given $200. She replied that she would give it to the suffering.
Present day masters are best at interpreting mercy and compassion but they talk in reference to ‘me’ and ‘you’ – it’s really different by an ocean. What we need is a level of compassion in which ‘me’ and ‘you’ merge into one. During the 2021 disasters in Idukki district of Kerala State, a lot of service stories were shared. All those who jumped into service were not always stomach full. They continued working even late at night and there was almost nobody to say a word of thanks.
Occasionally, it’s our duty to motivate them by accepting their service with respect.
One day a boy came to a man selling puppies. The man called the puppies and all of them came running. The last one was a little slow; it was limping.
“What happened to it?” asked the boy.
“It’s like that from birth. It cannot ever run like others.” replied the man.
“That’s the puppy I want!” the boy said. The boy showed the man the artificial leg he was using and told him that it’s somebody, who understands it that it needs for company.
It is in absolute merger of selves, that compassion blossoms in full. The joy it gives is incomparable and it’s not easy to create such a thing or destroy it.
Everybody knows Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. He has written extensively on positive thinking. He once shared a live story. It was early 1897 and William McKinley was contesting in the US general election. Those opposing news channels also had sent their reporters with him on all his journeys. What they wanted was negative news. William McKinley was on a train with many reporters accompanying him. Out in the open, the weather was freezing cold and a reporter unknowingly went asleep, in the train. McKinley accidentally happened to pass by and saw this. He immediately covered this reporter with his coat and continued. McKinley very well knew who this man was. When the reporter woke up, he was ashamed to see the kindness McKinley showed him. With that single episode, this reporter lost all his power to write against McKinley. He resigned from the media and began living in praise of McKinley. That’s the power of compassion.
Mark Twain wrote, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” What we need most are competent masters who know this strange language.