Good morning – Greetings on this beautiful day!
On behalf of the Spiritual Life Team, I invite you to take a moment and breathe… center yourself in compassion and kindness.
This week’s theme of our 40 Days of Positive Actions and Thoughts is related to our third core value: we respond with empathy.
I offer this quote to get you thinking and to encourage conversations with one another.
hold the door for you.
I may have
in your shoes,
but I can see
your soles are worn,
your strength is torn
under the weight of a story
I have never lived before.
Let me hold the door for you.
After all you’ve walked through,
It’s the least I can do.”
-Morgan Harper Nichols
Responding with empathy requires effort and intentional action. It is important to remember that feeling empathy and compassion for others and ourselves must lead to action if we are to have an impact.
I offer this prayer from a Native American tradition:
Oh, Great Spirit,
Help me to remain calm and strong
In the face of all that comes toward me.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
In every leaf and rock.
Help me seek pure thoughts and act
With the intention of helping others.
Help me find compassion
Without empathy overwhelming me.
-Great Spirit Prayer
For those who wish to turn to Christian scriptures, I offer a reminder that empathy and compassion are at the heart of following Jesus Christ.
“For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:14)
Jesus’ teaching is grounded in the Hebrew Scriptures. For example – “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Leviticus 19:18
I close with this thought-provoking quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who gave his life for his Christian faith as an anti-Nazi dissident:
We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do,
And more in the light of what they suffer.
We hold you in our prayers and compassionate intentions.