Compassion vs. Production Pt. 2

If the sudden spike in page views are any indication, it looks like my post on Compassion vs. Production touched quite a nerve!  Here’s an email I received from a dear friend, who lives too many miles away from me, with her thoughts on the topic (reposted with her permission):

I loved reading your post on compassion. How lucky you were to find someone who had a purpose in life that they were able to put into words. Half the time I feel like the things I am working toward are so abstract that I have no idea which direction to go.

The part of me that still clings to the “production” mindset makes me think that being “compassionate” is just an excuse for failing. Which frankly makes me miserable. But when I just try to be an excellent version of myself, which often means being vulnerable, doing difficult things for me (even if they are a piece of cake for everyone else), and trying to give myself the benefit of the doubt just as much as I am trying to for others, I may not feel as noteworthy or impressive but I feel happier. I feel peaceful. I also feel like I have done some pretty admirable things. I think I will always be happier in life if I am trying to be a good person before being a “successful” one.

Again, maybe this is just an excuse I give myself to make me feel better for not being more “productive” but I believe that a person who really strives to be a compassionate person cannot help but be a productive one. There is real value attached to the goals they pursue. The product may not come with ribbons & bows, bells & whistles but I think we have all been the recipient of some compassionate stranger smiling at us and making us feel valued when we were feeling of no consequence. Some times the smallest things make a very real impact.

I couldn’t have said it better myself!  The key part of what she said, for me, was “…I believe that a person who really strives to be a compassionate person cannot help but be a productive one.”   That is so true.  

This is such a common feeling!  Especially amongst us Type-A need to be perfect kind of people but another nugget of advice that I’ve clung to in hard times was ‘Love where you are and grow from there’ .  A high school teacher told me that over and over again (apparently, I needed to hear it a lot) 

I’ve been thinking about this topic as it relates to the female experience (sorry boys..I love you but I have no first hand knowledge of what goes on in your head!), specifically motherhood. 

But that’s a post for another day….

~ by fluvial on April 8, 2011.

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