learning compassion

The ocean, the homeless guy and a squished banana.

Mountains. Sun. Ocean. This is the heaven-like combination for a summer morning. I am soaking in every tiny ray of Sun and thinking how grateful I am to be able to feel and see.

Then, 2 blocks down, I see a homeless person. He is using a bag of empty coca-cola cans as a pillow. He is sleeping in the busiest part of the city, on a curb of the loudest street in the whole downtown. He is free. In his own way.

I felt deep compassion for him. Perhaps for the first time in my life. A 100%, honest, non-judgemental, unconditional love and compassion. I can’t really do much to help him. My toonie is not going to change his life, but my compassion could. I don’t have to tell him anything, or do anything. This is his purpose, this is his role.

Every person we meet teaches us something.

Perhaps, this person is here to teach the world how to be compassionate. It’s a hard one! Yes, I feel “bad” for him. Yes, I wish he had a home and a hot meal every night. But the problems around homelessness are much deeper than the 7 o’clock news’ anchor makes us believe, and my toonie is no helper here.

As I continue walking, I open my bag and I see a squished banana in one of my inside pockets. It’s all mushed up inside the bag… First thought? Bummer. And then … Some people have squished bananas, some people don’t have bananas, some people make a living growing bananas. And it always. Always. Could be worse. Or better.

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