Compassion in Action

Sometimes the language we use when speaking or writing about things is pretty abstract. It’s always good to give more life, more substance, to your story by citing examples or giving more detail.

I talk about compassion a lot here on the site, talk about how urgent it is and so on.

Because you’re reading this, no doubt you’re on-board with that idea that compassion and acting compassionately are very important.

It wouldn’t be a bad thing to come up with a really good, a really clear example of someone acting compassionately.

Here we go: last Saturday night, Hanna Pignato, a waitress at the Joe’s Crab Shack on the Daytona Beach Pier noticed that a young swimmer in the ocean beneath her restaurant was struggling in a rip current.

Most folks would have hollered for a life guard or dialed 9-1-1.

Not Hanna. She gave her apron and wallet to a colleague and jumped into the sea.

Unfortunately for this hero, she hit a sandbar and broke her foot and fractured three vertebrae.

The swimmer was pulled to safety by someone else and Hanna was barely able to swim back to shore safely.

But the overarching fact here is that she put it all on the line. She acted compassionately, to say the least, when the limit of most folks’ compassion would have been to feel intensely sad if the boy had not ultimately been saved from the rip current.

Hanna is a hero. Her ennobling act of compassion stuns and inspires me.

Needless to say, her medical expenses are considerable. And her apartment is on the third floor so this is a big deal.

If you’re able to help Hanna, I hope you will. Click on this if you’d like to know how you can help.

Brother Ben

© 2019 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.

What Will You Do Today?

Compassion is the wish to see others free from suffering.” ~ Dalai Lama

I have a piece of kindergarten handwriting paper taped to the wall where my kitchen table sits.  Written on it is a question that I ask my children and myself every morning as we are eating our breakfast.  The question? What can we do TODAY to make the world a better place and reduce the suffering of others? Each of us without caring who gets the credit…”

The answers that most frequently pop out of their mouths are “Hug someone.”, “Tell someone that you love them.”, “Talk to a person who looks sad.”, “Share my lunch with a friend.”,“ Color a picture for the neighbor.” Their answers are not any grand gesture like volunteering at the homeless shelter or donating a bunch of money to charity. They are small things that each of us can do every day. And these seemingly small acts of kindness are at the very heart of what it means to live a life of compassion.

Compassion’s only requirement is that you take action to reduce the suffering of another. And no matter how small that action may feel… know that its ripples are expansive and infinite.

So what about you? What will YOU do today to make the world a better place and reduce the suffering of others?

Big hugs.

-Stacey ❤

Something we must do

It’s an ill wind that blows from Washington these days. If you believe it’s important to live in a compassionate way, or to care for and protect the Earth, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a good role model among our elected officials.

Sometimes it seems as though they’re trying to turn the natural order of things on its head. It seems as though someone in charge is giving a lot of thought to how one could live in a kind, sane and loving manner and then telling the whole team to do the exact opposite!

Do you ever get that feeling?

I do. A lot. Way more than I should.

So we must do all we can to model compassion and to practice compassion in everything we do while so many of our elected officials and decision makers are modeling anger, greed and indifference!

The actions of one individual can make a difference.

Acting compassionately is something we must do.

Brother Ben
© 2019 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Urgent Tasks We Face

We are right on the cusp of Spring as I write this. At a time when we often think about new life, new beginnings and new possibilities, a lot of folks are feeling as though we’re stuck in some kind of long-term moral and ethical winter. A really cold, dark–and very long–winter.

People of faith, and people who simply believe that selflessness and compassion should inform our attitudes and actions are finding that their voices are being drowned out by the droning of baleful voices calling for selfishness, suspicion and cruelty.

And these voices seem to be growing louder with each passing day.

It’s time to take a close look at what’s happening in our corporate life here in America and face a very dark and difficult time with courage and compassion.

Some of the urgent issues I want to focus on in this blog:

  • The problems posed by extreme, authoritarian religious practices
  • Creating a spiritual home for people exiting extremism
  • The problems we face saving our planet from environmental destruction
  • Honoring all life on Earth, not only our own species

Those four issues mentioned above are so important right now. And they’re interconnected. I’m hoping that our Fellowship–the FSF–will be effective in shining a light on these issues, stimulating discussion about solutions and creating a community for all like-minded friends who care.

So in the next few weeks and months, I’d like to take a closer look at these issues to see first, why they’re so important and then, how we can take action to address them.

Brother Ben

© 2019 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.