Welcome with compassion in the heart

The pity is knowing how to truly put yourself in the other's shoes, the wounded, the disappointed, the betrayed ...

by Rosanna Tabasso


Where is the world we know going, what are we experiencing? These questions are constantly spinning in our heads, we repeat them like a refrain that comes to mind by itself. We listen to news, we talk to people, we do housekeeping and we realize that poverty increases; we feel the fear that the contagion reaches us and this thought does not make us live: the sense of precariousness, loss, fear, anger in the face of the difficulties of more and more people increases.

And then the earth trembles here and there, it rains and the weather alert immediately starts, it's hot and the glaciers melt, it's cold and it's black out, fine dust, pollution ... The alarmism in the face of natural events it makes us even more insecure. We are poisoned by this sense of precariousness and the reaction is likely to be worse than the problem. The risk is to close, be sad, let yourself live or be stunned to forget. But there is another possibility and it is to change the view and choose the style of the Samaritan indicated by Jesus in the Gospel: to get off the horse, to leave aside our first certainties and learn a new refrain to live this time, learn compassion, open your heart and put intelligence at its service. Heartless intelligence is not enough, it also takes the ability to compete and this faculty of the heart can direct the intelligence to exploit unexpected resources. "Pitying is knowing how to truly put yourself in the other's shoes with love and responsibility" repeats the Rule of Yes and this is the new refrain to learn quickly and to live in this besieged today of the poor and hopeless.

Jesus' time should not have been so different from ours if crowds of breadless people followed him and sometimes he had to run away secretly from that siege. Jesus looked at them and was moved by them, he felt compassion and said to them "Come to me all you tired and oppressed and I will refresh you" (Mt 11, 28). He had no wealth to distribute but hope to awaken in them.

We moderns have rejected the emotion because it was presented to us as sentimentalism but also because it focuses on what is missing and which we are unable to control and resolve, it makes us feel powerless, uncovered. We grew up in a time when everything is within our reach, we can do everything with our own strength, we can solve everything by ourselves. And where we are unable to solve on our own, we remove the problem, such as disease or death.
The emotion provides an involvement that frightens those who are used to solving everything in a progressive sequence of question-answer, need-solution. Today, however, we feel that this sequence no longer holds, there are no longer enough resources to carry it forward with our human strength. For us, this moment is an opportunity for the conversion of the heart. To enhance what most characterizes us as people: move towards the other, love him. The jolts of this time can help us to rediscover ourselves, to find ourselves and the sense of life. We meet people and come back to come.

We can contribute to recreate a fabric of humanity in our neighborhoods, in our countries, perhaps starting from the condominiums where we live.
Compassion thus educates us to overcome indifference, to meet people, to recognize their efforts, to stay close. Perhaps we will not have great solutions to offer to those who have lost their jobs, to those who have no home, to those with a sick person at home ... but we will not be afraid to let ourselves be touched by the suffering humanity of those we approach, listen to them, become familiar with them. And then when the heart is open, the intelligence activates to seek answers of solidarity, perhaps changing our lifestyle: taking some time to listen, accompanying a person in difficulty; to experience that you can open your own home to a lonely elderly person, to a mother and her son, to share something concrete with those who no longer have the necessary. Nothing new, simply the rediscovery of compassion as a response to the complexity of this today, a response that returns meaning to life.

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