Although most of us prefer to hear reversal of fortune stories where someone wins the lottery unexpectedly, the opposite experience may be where the gold mine of human change and compassion lies. I would venture a guess that many of those who lost their homes this past week will agree with this statement in the long run.
I know I received my best life lesson in human compassion, humility, gratitude, and resilience a few years ago when I lost just about everything. It seems this is the best way for us to learn these difficult lessons, and finally empathize and find fellowship with those who live with less every day of their lives.
One important lesson we may learn?
“The best things in life are not things.”
It is relationships we will value most, long after our things are swept away. Loss of the illusion of control is a valuable lesson, and the power of nature is an excellent teacher in this regard. Who are you without your things? Loss of your home or access to the power grid or gasoline brings us quickly back to the basics. Most will find that humility is in order.
We are really very small and powerless in the larger world. How do we come to terms with this fact? The first step is to swallow your pride and realize every one of us on this earth are in this together, so enough looking down on those less fortunate than you.
Yes, you are now homeless. Does that change the way you look at homeless folks who live on the street in your town? How do you feel about yourself when you are scavenging food from the garbage? Do you feel perhaps a little less arrogant, and more compassionate towards others?
Welcome to the world where most of the earth’s population lives, with little security or control over today or tomorrow.
“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience and compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” – Lao-tzu
“Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.” — Oscar Wilde
by Laura Lee Carter, author of How To Believe In Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust, and Your Own Inner Wisdom.