Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Compassion and Empathy

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is 
fighting a harder battle."  
- Plato

I have a confession to make.  Maybe it's all the stress I've been under.  Maybe it's because men are babies and totally suck.  Maybe it's because I stopped caring about myself, so how could I care about someone else.

Whatever it is...I've been hating on the roommate.  I won't lie.  I mentioned here that there have been issues (important issues, like not paying rent on time and with no explanation, mind you), and I was getting tired of it.

Fact is, he's been messed up.  I didn't realize it fully when I wrote that other post, but the guy has some serious back issues.  He broke it in college, which I knew, and he occasionally has pain, which I knew.  But for the past five weeks, he's been messed up.  So messed up that he could hardly walk.  That I thought he would take a header down the stairs.  That his doctor put him on pain meds and muscle relaxers and the guy unfortunately doesn't know how to control substances (if you catch my drift).

I was thinking about it all today. I've been short with him.  I've been annoyed with him.  I've listened to his ramblings and just looked at him like, really?!

I'm annoyed that he fell (because I pictured him coming over the top of the half wall and landing on the living room floor 20 feet below). I'm annoyed that the kitchen isn't cleaner.  I'm annoyed that he hasn't worked in 4.5 weeks, therefore hasn't been paid, therefore most likely would be late on rent again next month...

And then it hit me.  I'm an ass.  This guy is in some serious pain, pain that I pray I will never know.  And I'm worried about how it's affecting me.  My lack of compassion and empathy for his situation made me disappointed in myself.  I was looking at it as "I'm being taken advantage of," which was partially true, but I didn't need to roll my eyes (to myself) when I heard him coming down the stairs...with his cane.  Ugh.

Good news...the guy had some sort of electro-shock acupuncture therapy today and it seems to work.  He came bounding down the stairs like a 12 year old.  And his doc released him to go back to work tomorrow! YAHOO!

Point is...think about the negative thoughts toward others that float around in your head.  Are compassion and empathy more viable options? 

Have an awesome day!

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