I know it’s been a while, but I’ll share a few things later on about that.
This summer, our family has been helping out in a situation. What I thought would be a temporary situation was extended for a while longer. Recently, I was told of a deadline. I’m not one to help out in a huge way, but I’ll do what I can. I was talking to my mother about things like this, and she told me to be compassionate. She had a point, but I didn’t know how I can be compassionate. My heart was hardened, some by exploitation. By definition, it is having or showing compassion, sympathetic. So compassion is sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it (thank you, http://www.merriam-webster.com). I’m cool with helping people who are in need, but I’m also cautious. For example, when I see some people on the corner holding up cardboard signs I want to help a little, but I don’t want to be conned of what I have. The best advice I was given was to give them food and/ or water. I did last week, and as I was about to give a dude some chips, he turned them down as he said it wasn’t good for his health. He only took the water.
Being compassionate is something I need to develop more. I find it upsetting when my compassion is being exploited. Several years ago, people would ask me for rides to and from church in South Carolina. I was okay with it, but some wanted to arrive/ leave at a certain time, and there were a few who wanted to catch a ride. It was irritating. I had to make a schedule of when I will pick people up and when we will get back. I bet there would have been a few less passengers if I asked for gas money.
My mother is strong, compassionate, and hospitable, but I don’t want her compassion or her hospitality to be taken advantage of. She has blessed so many with her home, but there were times when what she had wasn’t treated with respect. She suspended a few things so that they wouldn’t be misused anymore. I wished I would have taken action then, but I had the mindset of “it’s her house.” Now, I want to do more, and for starters I will pray, and I will pray consistently. If I have to be a voice… No. I will be a voice. I may have to reach into a Chuck D- Public Enemy state to get the message out, whether it’s liked or not. And how we treat ourselves may affect how we treat people and objects. If we treat ourselves like trash…
I don’t mind being compassionate, but I don’t want to be nice. I don’t think being compassionate means I have to be nice about the situation(s). I wouldn’t want to be asked to be of assistance on an occasional or regular basis. I would feel like their help, their enabler, a codependent. I want to be dependent on God, and not much on people, and I want that for everybody, but everyone’s different. I pray to remove the “enabler” out of me so much that whenever I drive by a Liquor store some people walk out (too much). I want folks to be motivated to handle their business, because that’s what I want for me. I want to see more people get on their feet that it causes a chain reaction of positivity. I have dreams and goals, and they may start by knowing how to help and taking a stern stance.
I think there are too many adult males who are relying on others to be a man for them, me included. I believe some of us weren’t given the lessons to depend on ourselves, to “go kill the meal and bring it home.” Some of our responsibility levels are super low, and something needs to happen for us as adult males to say, “I’m going to step my game up.” I am doing my best to be in my 30s (current age range) and not have a 12-year-old mindset, not out of pride, but I believe my mother didn’t raise me to be that way.
My compassion goes for the ones who want to step it up, but they feel like they’re stuck. I may show less compassion when folks are in a exploiting, “the world owes me” mindset. I still need to have compassion for those in need. It’s in God’s Word, and since I chose that life, I must study it. I just hope people don’t catch me during 5:00 pm traffic.
And I’m just getting started.