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Compassion makes you stronger

your beliefsA slight deviation this week from looking at what you need to live and achieve your dreams. I thought I’d encourage you to look at something a bit different. Something reflective, that helps us all become stronger.

Lisa and I have not long returned from Vanuatu which had a cyclone leaving death and destruction in its wake several months ago. Their infrastructure and needs are basic, but it is clear the people are suffering. My heart goes out to them.

We’re now in Christchurch to visit family and get away to replenish our love and creative energy for some new EKO services. Exciting! Christchurch, and my family, experienced, and were badly affected by, a terrible and deadly earthquake several years back. The scars on the city and people are clear to see, but their resilience is impressive. Tragedy seems to build a bond that galvanises people. I guess the sharing of ongoing stories of dealing with the aftermath of a massive disaster creates common ground that unites everyone. I really feel for them.

I’ve been greatly troubled by the earthquake in Nepal. A tragedy of over 8,000 people killed and many more injured and affected in other ways – now and for a long time to come. The physical, mental and emotional trauma will exist for years. It’s not the greatest tragedy the world has experienced, however one that has personal meaning to me.

In April and May 2014 I had the privilege of wandering the bustling streets of Kathmandu, and trekking up through the valleys and villages from Lukla to Mt Everest with my beautiful Lisa and my three gorgeous children. History, poverty, existence living, resilience, beauty, courage, perseverance, harsh conditions both in the spectacular land and weather. Incredible place and people.

These are a beautiful people. Such humility and strength of character. I’m not saying others aren’t. It’s just that I was there with Lisa and my children a year ago – at the time they suffered a terrible avalanche killing their brave Sherpas on Mt Everest. Now this.

These people looked after us, kept us safe, worked, guided, shared food with us, laughed, joked and cared for us. Like family. Humble and strong. I feel their pain.

On this scale of suffering, and individual stories I seem to be feeling for people’s suffering more and more. Is it something that naturally happens as you get older? Is it because I’ve experienced more suffering, and each event layers on the previous. Does it happen to us all, or do some people go through life without feeling like this? I know there are people who get upset in times of suffering, but their feeling is more for sympathy for their own ego.

Is this what being human – humanity – is? Feeling the pain of others.

I feel humanity, and the feeling of compassion, is more than that. It is about feeling their pain enough to do something to support them. To act. I want to help, and will be donating what little I can to the people of Nepal. I wish I was in a position to physically help. Give more. Do more.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” – Dalai Lama

Our senses get dulled and desensitised to terrible events in the world. Conflict and death is constant in the media. And the media is constant in our lives. Are we too overloaded and time poor to be feel human?

“The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.” – Joseph Stalin

Every person on this planet suffers. There is no escaping being human. Everyone is injured physically, mentally and emotionally at some point in our lives. Some of these injuries never fully heal. Some of these injuries we don’t even consciously know we have – yet grow to manifest themselves in negative ways. We seek compassion, support. It doesn’t always come. Compassion seems to an emotion that eludes some people, and it can hurt you if you seek it from these people in your support network and it doesn’t come.

In the next article I will discuss this a little more and continue to explore compassion and humanity. I will look a little more inwardly at my journey of compassion, some things I’ve learnt, things I’m working on, and what you can try, to be more compassionate. I hope you’ll join me.

Thanks again for investing time in reading this – my hope is that it will achieve our goal of supporting you grow into the best “you”. If there is anything you would like written about, please let me know. If there is anything you would like support on or to discuss, please go to our blog and forum pages. As always, if you believe this was of value, please share it with those who you feel will get value from it, and take a look at these eight ways to become more compassionate, even when faced with criticism.

All the best,

Mike

  • Mike Overwater

Mike's an ordinary bloke who had a dream, and wouldn't give up. As the founder of EKO Group, and co-creator of ekoyou.com, he thought it was time to share his truths and personal life lessons. Mike hopes to inspire you to always keep it real, to go for your dreams, and to let nothing stop you! Above all BE YOURSELF.


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