Compassion + Connection

Yesterday, I unplugged from social media and news for a bit. Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester is about a 5 minute drive from where I live in Quincy, so I drove over, read my latest issue of Yoga Journal and enjoyed the outdoors. Breeze blowing. Kids playing. Birds chirping. Sun shining. Even saw the moon.

The bridge in the picture above is the Neponset River Bridge. If you look at the picture below, I was sitting on the Boston side of the Neponset River. The other side, where the buildings are, is the Quincy side. Quincy and Boston are very close and connected by that bridge.

As I start this post, I'm listening to Out Of Town, by Zero 7. It's a very soothing, chillax kind of song. Much needed in these tumultuous times.

A little while ago, I watched the live broadcast of the Boston Marathon Interfaith Service. It was uplifting, hopeful and inspiring. I loved when Governor Patrick said, "Let us not lose touch with our civic faith. Massachusetts invented America."

At times like this, difficult times, we are forced to deal with who we really are and what we truly believe. After hearing about the explosion in West, Texas last night and all those hurt and killed, I couldn't believe it. So much suffering and pain. How can this be? Why is the world so horrible? Is this really hell and we just don't know it? But then I prayed for them anyway.

When it comes down to it, the core of who I am, that is not how I want to go around thinking and living my life. Because I am still here. We are all still here. What do I really believe?

I don't actually believe in hell, but if there were one, it wouldn't have love or hope. It wouldn't have kindness. It wouldn't have any joy, smiles or laughter. We do have these things in our world.

When I saw these pictures sending love to Boston from Kabul, it made me tear up. All that the people of Afghanistan are going through, yet they still have concern for us here. They feel compassion for us. Compassion. That's the key. Hell would have no compassion.

We are all human and we are all connected. Even in ways that we probably don't understand yet.

Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy from Dorchester that was killed in the bombing felt compassion.  He held a sign for "peace" and "no more hurting people" because he felt such compassion when Trayvon Martin was killed. When Trayvon Martin's parents heard about Martin Richard, they reached out to Martin Richard's family. We are all connected.

After the bombing, in person and on on social media, people are reaching out for ways that they can help friends, family and strangers. Because we feel compassion and we are all connected.

I can't say that I understand why so many bad things happen in the world, but maybe compassion and connection saves us.

Take a look and a listen to this video of the New Zealand Parliament after they approved gay marriage. Just hours ago. After the vote, they broke out into the most beautiful song, the Maori love song "Pokarekare Ana". There is still love, happiness and joy in this world.

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Nance said…
My memory fails me at present, but I think it was David Gregory on Meet the Press who said that he remembered from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood that, during times of very great tragedy and pain (MTP was referencing Sandy Hook), when you think that everything is terrible and bad, look for the helpers. They will be there. There are always helpers, and that shows that people ARE good, that they ARE loving. As long as there are helpers in the world, things will be fine.

Mr. Rogers was a genius. His quiet, reassuring, simple friendliness was the best. So much of kids' lives and tv programming is inane noise. I think everyone could learn a lot from watching him.

Take care up there in MA. It's almost over.
Lisa Johnson said…
nance - I started seeing that quote circulating quite a bit since Monday. Even though they are just words, they are the perfect words and make something quite tangible to hold on to when it feels like everything is spinning out of control. Yesterday was truly horrible. The entire state was on edge. A collective sigh of relief is a beautiful thing.
El said…
Amen to that. I'm glad you were able to get out and relax after everything that happened. Peace.
Lisa Johnson said…
el - Thanks and peace to you as well.

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