How many times have you watched people on a city street or observed someone in a doctor’s office, and wondered what their thoughts were?
I often try to see beyond a person’s expression. When I notice a sad face, I feel the energy of loss or grief. When I catch a smile, I smile back, wondering if the person just finished a good conversation with a friend, or was reminiscing over last night’s date. When I see wonder light up another person’s eyes, I give thanks for innocence. The multiple faces of emotions are a marvel.
I encourage you to watch this YouTube video on compassion, created by the Cleveland Clinic. Some of you may recall that my husband, Paul, had his heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. My friend, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, author of Kitchen Table Wisdom, recently sent it to me.
The video reminds me to tread lightly when entering someone else’s emotional or physical space. We see others, but do we really see what’s going on inside? Would we interact with them differently if we could? To me, compassion is about looking through the eyes of the heart.
Henry David Thoreau poses the question, too: “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”
May you find your own ways to see beyond the surface.
What does compassion mean to you?
What does it feel like to look into another’s face and try to feel what they are feeling?