Compassion creates understanding

I’m a fan of Yogi Tea. Every tea bag comes with a quote. They are always calming and zen-like. Tonight, my quote was “Compassion creates understanding.” It brought to mind something I learned this past year.

Sipping my Chardonnay one evening on the deck at Anthony’s Homeport in Des Moines with my friend Melinda, she asked me if I had a personal mission statement. “No. What’s that?” I asked. She shared three words that described how she wanted to live her life with a brief description for each. They had to do with integrity and honesty.  I started thinking about what mine would be. About a week later I had them.

Passion – I live my life with passion, fully engaged and present in the moment.

Forgiveness – I strive to forgive others and ask for forgiveness for my own hurtful actions. Dale Carnegie wrote “Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”

Courage – I face each day with courage and resilience. That is how we learn and grow, by facing our fears and trials, not running from them.

I wrote these words on my bathroom mirror and looked at them every morning. One day, it dawned on me.

The sum of all three – passion + forgiveness + courage = compassion.

“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching