Buddha states in one of his sermons that the “heart is like a garden –it can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love”.
What seeds will you plant there?
When I was in high school a good friend of mine had gone to the mall with me and she had picked up a lot of things that she thought she had wanted but by the end of the shopping trip decided to just put them on random shelves.
I asked her why not put them back where she found them rather than make it hard on the retail workers of the store since we weren’t in a rush anyway. She told me simply told me she didn’t want to. I wish I could say that I said the perfect words, that after that she never did that again. I wish I could tell you that I had never acted in the same way in previous times.
I wish I could say that I made this dramatic speech about how we should treat others the way that we would want to be treated. To show love. To show compassion. It’s easy to make mistakes like these, to act without thought. I don’t mean that you are a terrible person, that you don’t care for others.
But now that I look back at the moment and have grown so much since that time, I wish I had said something. The Bible even states for us to look on our neighbors meaning our peers with love and kindness, but do we do this? No.
A memory that I hold dear to my heart dates to my first-grade teacher. She made it her life’s work to always show love and compassion.
I remember one day I had climbed to the top of the jungle gym, even though I had an immense fear of heights. It was the end of recess and I was scared to climb down. My teacher, at the age of about 70 years old, decided to look on me with love and compassion and climb to the top of the jungle gym to carry me down.
And when my grandmother had passed away and I was home sick with the flu at the same time she called my parents and stopped by to give her condolences to my family and dropped off the work I had missed and pass on a hug and kiss.
New York Times Bestselling Author, Sharon Salzburg, goes on to say that “Any ordinary favor we do for someone…may seem to be going nowhere at first, but maybe planting a seed we can’t see right now."
A simple act of kindness. A job. No not a job a purpose to show love to show compassion.
It's something that is so easy, yet we make so difficult we are so caught in the materialism of this world that we forget the most important things that can’t be brought: love and compassion.
I’m not perfect and neither are you. I don’t always treat others with love, kindness or compassion. I’m making a call for us to do what our kindergarten and first-grade teachers told us early on to treat others how we would want to be treated.
And to remember that a simple act of kindness like maybe putting back clothes in the right spot at a simple retail store can show more of your genuine heart than you’ll ever know.
Like the Dalai Lama said, “love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries without them humanity cannot survive”.