At the last MTL gathering, I told part of a story that I forgot to finish. So I’d like to finish it now. Actually, let me back up and tell the entire thing so we are all on the same page…
I used to take students to lots of concerts because I absolutely love music. We would drive a big suburban down from Breckenridge to Denver then back up the mountain again afterwards. Because of the gas-guzzling ride, I always asked students to bring $5 to help offset the fuel bill. On one particular occasion, we parked the car and on our way walking to the concert, we were approached by a mother and daughter. They explained how they had been kicked out of their place for not paying rent and how just a week earlier, the mom had lost her job. They clearly had everything they owned with them and were asking us for help… anything we could spare. All the students immediately looked at me to see how I was going to respond. Here’s what I said, “Unfortunately, I don’t have any cash on me (I truly didn’t), but I know these students have some they owe me for gas, and they can decide what to do with it.” Then I walked away and watched things play out. In the end, the students talked it over and decided to split the gas money in half- giving some to me and the rest to the mother and daughter.
On the way home from the concert, I listened in on their discussion about the entire experience. Much of what they said I honestly expected to hear… I expected it because we all tend to think in similar ways…
What if they do this all the time? Was it a trick? Were they really in trouble?
What if bad decisions, not a lost job, got them kicked out?
Will they even use the money in a good way?
Many times I tend to think in ways that simply justify my inaction… when my heart wants me to respond somehow… compassion should compel us to action.
Remember, SEE. FEEL. ACT.
SEE your fellow human beings and their situation.
FEEL their suffering, and take it into your heart.
ACT… how can you acknowledge their humanity, embrace their suffering and help???
Tap into the compassion that flows inside of you and SEE, FEEL, ACT.
These posts offer further reflection on topics we tackle during MTL nights.