My Compassion Fails – #1000Speak

It has been almost a week since the grand unveiling of 1000 Voices for Compassion initiative on February 20th.  Bloggers, writers and artists all over the world lent their voices to encourage compassion.  There were many reveal posts prior to the 20th answering the questions, why this was important to those participating and what compassion means to them personally.

I posted both a reveal post > Compassion  #1000Speak – Why? and a compassion post on the 20th > Simple Compassion,and others previously with compassion as the theme

I have read many wonderful posts by some brilliant people all around the theme of compassion.  Inspiring, beautiful, gut-wrenching, touching and some even funny.  The world needs compassion, each and every one of us, on a daily basis and based on the outpouring of love, emotion and thoughts it seems like we all have enough to share.

And yet…it seems…

That my own compassion is failing, miserably?

Compassion for others and for myself so often is complacent and appears non-existent. They infringe, blatantly so without concern, I believe on my life and agenda and I am offended and hurt.  How dare they, I silently scream inside!

>They do not hold the door for me when they clearly see me walking up, even though my arms are empty and work just fine and I have so much to be grateful for.

>They cut me off in traffic without signaling a lane change then speeding off as they just got a call from the hospital and their first child is being born.

>They drive the speed limit on a beautiful curvy country road where dappled sunlight filters through the leafless trees when I am in a hurry to get nowhere fast.

>They talk loudly in the coffee shop about recent struggles with their marriage and child while I frantically try to type a blog post on my laptop that will change the world.

>They ignore the pain that I see daily in the mirror reflected back at me in my own eyes, yet I am ambivalent to the silent pain I see in others.

>They stand staring blankly at me on the street corner, sign in hand as I think; I don’t have time, the light is going to change and then I sip my $5.00 coffee drink.

>And then, I call myself all sorts of vulgar and ugly names, knowing that if anyone did that to someone I love, nothing could stop me from exacting my own vengeance.

I am guilty of each of these things, over and over and …I criticize and belittle others for these exact things, even if it is only in my mind, for not showing kindness.  As if that justifies my anger and resentment.  We watch the large showings of compassion all over the news and social media; posted, shared, tweeted etc., etc.   These things are important no doubt and I pray I will participate in more initiatives such as this one and even play a part in a major story of compassion that makes headlines.

And yet…maybe it is in the little things?  Maybe it starts with me?

“Some believe it is only GREAT POWER that can hold evil in check.  But that is not what I have found.  I have found that it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.  Small acts of kindness and love.” ~Gandalf (J.R.R. Tolkien)

So, I challenge you as I have challenged myself; what will you do now?

And I leave you with the following words to the song “How Can it Be” by Lauren Daigle, there is grace and no matter how many times we fail, we can try again. 

I am guilty
Ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become
These hands are dirty
I dare not lift them up to the Holy one

Though I fall, You can make me new
From this death I will rise with You
Oh the grace reaching out for me
How can it be
How can it be 

#Just Believe  #Grace Wins  #HopeLives

Simple Compassion

Two voices and two poems for the ‘1000 Voices of Compassion movement. The first by my daughter and the second by me.  Please enjoy and never doubt that you do and will make a difference, the question is what kind of difference will you make? #1000Speak

1000Speak~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Be kind to others in need.
Be kind and loving to others.
Even if they’re not kind and loving to you.
Have compassion for your sisters and brothers,
for God is waiting for you to be loving, just as He is.
For there will be people coming.
You will need to help these people.
Even if they’re not kind and loving to you.
For I tell you nothing is to small,
for it is simple enough to just have COMPASSION.

~Muppin ©2015, Age 10
♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

How are you she asked.
“I don’t know. “
Was my halting reply.
Staring back I was thinking,
I don’t understand
As you stand before me
Passively with outstretched hand
compassion seems small
the kindness before a fall
grace and love is all
What do you want she asked next.
“I don’t know. “
I answered again
As my mind continued to turn.
It doesn’t make sense
Are these wishes just this
Prayers disguised as defense
compassion may be
the best of life we will see
love for you and me
What do you need she then asked.
“Simple compassion.”
I responded without hesitation.
My thoughts still churning.
The pain I now feel
Is the result of a past connection
That was once so real
compassion is love
through redemptive action of
grace, mercy and love

~Mark Schutter ©2015 > #JustBelieve  #GraceWins  #HopeLives

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Compassion #1000Speak – Why?

So, what is this post all about? Short answer: a little glimpse into who I am and why COMPASSION and the 1000 Voices for Compassion movement is important to me. So let’s get started, shall we?.

I am an artist but then aren’t we all?

The Background: Our lives are our masterpieces that we create each day either by addition, subtraction, building up or tearing down. I attempt to capture moments through my art: using pictures and words to encourage and shine a light into dark places.

What seems another lifetime ago I stood silently holding the hand of someone I planned to spend the rest of my life with. Feeling wholly helpless I could only watch her die from the evil cancer that ravaged her young body. I have traversed my own valley of shadows, and occasionally I will wander and find myself back there in that dark. I have cried, screamed, railed and bargained against the seeming injustice of it all and the randomness of another beautiful life gone. I pitied myself; while many tried to show me compassion, kindness and tenderness.

“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal.” ~CS Lewis

I have slowly realized over 20 years later that my own pain should not and must not be the focus. Every person is fighting a battle and most of us have no idea. I know that many I have encountered over the years never see my scars for I carry them on the inside. The pain hidden deep, I retreat like a frightened child.

I am now slowly rebuilding my life on a belief and hope that there is a reason to the seeming madness of this world. I have since married a wonderful women who loves me in spite of my hypocritical and narcissistic self. I watched the birth of our daughter and have cherished watching her grow into a precious and loving ten-year old little lady.

Why it is Important to Me: From life to death and back to life my journey has taken me there. Life will go on, we do not get that choice.  It only matters what we do with our lives.

Now, in what I like to refer to as the second chapter of my life; I wish to share the joys, the sorrows, the hope and maybe even inspire someone on this crazy wonderful journey that we call life. I believe in the ‘ripple effect’, touch one life and you may touch the world.  The world craves compassion and we should freely give it both to others and to ourselves.

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

This movement of over a 1000 strong participants posting about COMPASSION on February 20, 2015 is important to me. For I know that love will win. We must have compassion for each other and for ourselves. We can only do the best we can and often that is good enough. I will be posting on February 20th, which will include a special piece written by my daughter. You are more than you know!

I borrowed and plagiarized the following from the blog of Lizzi Rogers, one of the co-creators of this great event. (Thanks Lizzi! :) )

What you can do: JOIN IN!

I have not seen a lot of men among the over 1000 participants, so guys consider this my challenge to you.  It is not to late to join in.  You don’t have to spill your guts – promise – but if you take part somehow, on ANY kind of social media platform, on February 20th, letting the world know that you’re putting something out there for 1000Speak, and relating something to do with compassion and why it matters to you, then you add weight and unique perspective to the movement.

Join us on Facebook

Find us at the 1000Speak blog

Use the #1000Speak hashtag on Twitter and Instagram

Promote this movement everywhere you can, and keep checking back to see how it’s going. Spread the word – we can’t do it alone.

We really are stronger together – 1000Speak needs YOU! Join the village, and BRING the difference.

wpid-img_20140612_122453.jpgIf you have read this far, thank you and I leave you with this.  I need a drink :) because being this transparent as I have on this blog about my life, my failings and my journey is a little scary.   But hey, it is who I am and so I will be kind to myself.  Be kind to yourselves and remember show compassion to everyone you meet! ~M

Back Home Again

There are those places in our lives that hold an enchantment.  Physical places that make our hearts beat faster filling our senses with excitement and anticipation.   Where the memories remain of what had been, of moments that transpired over time. Some moments lingered on while others were beautiful and tragically fleeting and yet each stays with us forever.

There are those roads where our feet have walked in seeming perfect harmony with the forces of the universe and the purpose of our existence. In those moments all it seemed, was perfectly as it should be. The bumps in the road and the rough spots seemed only minor inconveniences and mere annoyances. That only served to push us further towards our true destiny. And yet…

Peering;
through the
looking-glass
of memories.
Tainted;
by pain
rooted deep
in sin.
Shame;
the ghosts
laughing an
evil refrain.
Yearning;
while darkness
falters under
mercy’s light.
Forgiveness;
comes silently
with love
and grace.
Hopefully;
we can
go back
home again.

~Mark Schutter ©2015

Back Home() Again