Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Kindness And Compassion

Some of my friends and co-workers are dealing with difficult situations in their lives.  I recently shared with someone that I see leadership as ministry.  I joke that the people who report to me are my flock and I am their pastor.  I listen to their problems and I help them when I can.  If they make a mistake I forgive them.  When necessary I strive to point them in a more positive direction.  Perhaps most importantly, I truly care about each of them.  Some people are more work than others but I try to give each person what they need.  I have never seen leadership as me being a policeman or a prison guard.  However, this reflection is not really about leadership.  It is about looking around at your co-workers and realizing that every single one of them is dealing with something in their lives.  Empathy happens to be my number one strength.  I generally understand how most people feel and I care about their feelings.  I am glad that I am empathetic person although it is sometimes exhausting.  Whether you are an empathetic person or not, I encourage you to be tolerant, patient, kind, and compassionate to those around you.  You see that guy that is always joking around?  His laughter may be hiding a great deal of sadness.  That girl that seems unfriendly may have some physical pain that she is masking.  The person who doesn’t join in team lunches may simply not have the money.  That moody person in the next aisle may have recently had their heart broken.  We all have something in our lives that causes us pain.  We all have a part of ourselves that we try to hide from others because we don’t want to show our fears, weaknesses, or insecurities.  No one has a perfect life.  Think about these things the next time you feel judgmental towards others.  For many people today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.  It is a time of prayer, reflection, and penance.  Regardless of your personal religious beliefs, let today be the day you renew your caring and compassion for your fellow men and women.  It would be better to do this than to give up Diet Coke or chocolate for the next 40 days.  I have never regretted being kind or compassionate and I don’t think you will either.  Try it because sooner or later you will need to be on the receiving end of someone else’s caring and compassion.   

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