“Toast, toast, toast…nothing trite, nothing corny, nothin crude. There went most of my repertoire. I remembered once I’d heard a wise old barkeeper say once, and used it: “To the ones who weren’t as lucky.”
I recently thought of a paraphrase of the old capitalist motto: “He who dies with the most joys wins”. By this, I mean that a life measured in moments of joy, love and wonder seems much more worthwhile than a life measured in things acquired. Of course, to really up our joy levels, it helps if we discover and live our life’s purpose, our true will for a life filled fulfilling one’s purpose would almost naturally be a life enjoyed.
I have had friends challenge me on this. They ask me how I can enjoy my life when there is so much misery around. The very planet itself suffers from the rather horrible things being done to her. People live in terror and poverty and shame. Where is their joy and how can I possibly be happy without turning a blind eye to all of the pain. The simple answer is that I can’t turn away. I feel the suffering of others and feel it acutely. I do what I can and it is never enough.
Like so much in life there is paradox involved. Can I help others best by wallowing in misery with them or can I do more by radiating the joy of a life lived to its fullest? Compassion can often mean that our heart hurts and we feel the joy of existence simultaneously. This is seldom an easy balance but a worthwhile one to find.
Click on images to see full-sized:
Projecting From the Centre by G A Rosenberg
Humaniform by G A Rosenberg
0 thoughts on “Compassion and Paradox”
Great images that bring much pleasure. Thank you.
I think one of the greatest gifts we can give one another is that of truly, genuinely listening. As you say, there is misery in the world, and we can’t shut our eyes to it, but we can try to make our own and others lives better by spreading some joy and laughter.
Thank you. If we can do our best to spread joy and laughter, awareness and comfort to those whose lives we touch (an ever-increasing number thanks to the internet) then we have done a lot to improve the quality of life in the world.