So few things inspire compassion as much as travel. I sometimes lament the fact that travel now seems to have morphed into something we do for invisible audiences, something to do to capture a worthy image for social media. A lot of my travel through the world predated even Facebook, and I'm grateful for that fact. With no invisible audience awaiting my reports back to home, I was able to fully immerse myself in other cultures, and completely redefine what it means to "have" a home, food, water, friends and family. I once wandered down a dirt road in Costa Rica past a woman residing in a one bedroom wooden house with her four children. In Belize, barefoot children chased after chickens beneath their home, a single room wooden structure on stilts, while their mother pumped water manually from the ground. Still, compassionate for the less fortunate is the baseline of compassion - the easiest kind of compassion to muster. True compassion requires love for all people and animals, even the ones we have never met. If our compassion is restricted only to what is most immediate around us, we have not even begun to scratch its true potential.
I will spend the day honoring my connection to all living things, including all people, animals and plants. I will recognize that there are many people in the world who do not feel that they can access the emotional, physical or monetary resources they need to overcome their burdens. I will send my love to every person in this world that feels genuine need and lack. I will send my love to every animal in this world that feels needlessly threatened by risk to its home environment. I will send my love to every plant species in on the Earth or sea that now struggles for its survival. I will set aside my anger at the causes of malaise in this world long enough to focus only on the impact such malaise has on living things, and the ways in which I may improve the circumstances of others. Above all, I will remember that the compassion I show to others is also reserved for myself, and show myself kindness and nonjudgement for my own feelings of need or lack.
I was inspired to create this page in memory of a dear friend I lost to suicide. She inspired me all of the time with her writing, which she shared with the world as one of the earliest recognizable "bloggers." I'm saving this page for thirty-one days of little pick me ups, in the hope that they might help someone else somewhere lift themselves up when they are feeling low.