My hubby has found a new show we've been watching lately called "Brain Games". You can find it on Netflix.
We watched an episode recently on the subject of compassion and I found it fascinating. The premise was that most of us are born with compassionate genes and generally will respond with compassion to needs around us.
But... if we are treated badly, we are likely to respond in kind... and compassion goes out the window.
This is a simplistic overview, I know; you'll have to watch it for yourself.
But it had me thinking...how choosing to be compassionate can change me and the world around me. And that spurred me into action.
Recently I have heard a lot of complaints. Some of them were legitimate, I get it, but I recognize that listening to a complaining person is draining indeed if it is not balanced with the positive. There are some people who look at life with dark shades indeed, and have no trouble voicing their dissatisfaction to anyone who will take time to listen. This is exhausting.
I'm always amazed when I visit people at the hospital... some of them need to talk about their troubles, and it is my job to listen! I get this. Interestingly I find that is often those who have the most difficult of situations who are the most grateful. Even though they might be suffering, there is room to be grateful for the medical care, for a visit, for the support they receive, and some of them are very grateful to God in the midst of their circumstances. I admire their attitudes, and their very countenance often reflects their inner life.
And then there are those who tend to complain, and find it hard to find the good in life. I recognize it is much harder to show them compassion.
We live in a negative world... but when we find the positive, and recharge the serotonin in our brains, we are able to cope, having a much brighter countenance. I have come to believe that gratitude is a key to finding that positive way of living. Gratitude to the One who made us, gratitude for breath, gratitude for the beauty around us, gratitude for so many things... clean water, plentiful food, loving relationships.
The other day I was quite impressed by a video blog originally released on Twitter by Chris Hatfield who listed 25 positive things that were happening in our world. It was inspiring! He is not a complainer or someone who shouts doom and gloom....
I found myself greatly encouraged by that. Not that I'm going to stick my head in the sand (although some days I'm sorely tempted to do just that), but one needs to counter all the negative press with some positive news.
So back to compassion. The Brain Game episode we watched scientifically proved that the more compassion you show, it affects others to also behave in compassionate ways. How cool is that?
It reminds me of those two words... react or respond. When I react with my emotions and speak without thinking, there is often a negative response or outcome. When I stop to think it out, I often can respond in a thoughtful manner. And if we choose compassion as a way of life, it can change the way we think, the way we respond, the way we even feel.
Respond with compassion.... my new goal for this week! And thanks for taking time to read my blog!