Two Tales of Compassion
Two events this week got me thinking a lot about compassion. One was positive, the other not so much.
The first story was relayed to me via Ian Hill, a good friend of mine who is spearheading a volunteer-driven initiative that is building playgrounds and skateboard and fitness parks in communities across the country. Of course it’s not just about the playgrounds and parks. It is instead much more about the magic that happens when a community pulls together to build it in one day.
Maybe it’s because we’ve had too much winter, or maybe it’s because I’ve been working too hard but the truth is, like a lot of others these days, I’m running on empty.
This realization struck me especially hard this week when I came across a new book called “Play” by Dr. Stuart Brown.
Considered by some to be a groundbreaking book on the science of play, it discusses the essential role of play in contributing not only to our happiness but also to our intelligence.
My older brother talks a lot these days about retiring. When I ask about his plans he’s a bit vague except for knowing he wants to play golf and read books. When I recently suggested he’s too young to retire, might need to use his brain, and would likely be bored within a year, he simply replied, “I’m exhausted, I need to get out….my soul is tired.”
We didn’t have a lot of money growing up but my mother gave me something priceless - the incredible gift of optimism.
It may also be that this gene is hereditary as it seems I’ve passed it on in a particularly large dose to our youngest son.
Like many others his age he’s struggled with the confusion of overwhelming career choices slammed up against the reality of too few opportunities. Recently he’s cobbled together three part time jobs and even then often struggles to pay the rent.
I got me a posse!
Last week I spent three days immersed with a project team dedicated to enhancing the community leadership that will result in active, creative, and engaged communities.
As one of the group pointed out, it was like running with a pack of horses who took great joy in running fast and hard. Generally, we headed in the same direction but there were also a lot of diversions as the lead often changed, we slowed down to make sure others were running with us, or, interesting and sometimes prickly or insightful detours were taken.
Posted on 03-01-09