Compassion = Sympathy with Work Boots
I heard a great homily this past Sunday that I’d like to share with you. The topic was about virtues and the Fourth Commandment regarding “Honor Your Father and Mother…” This is the only commandment that comes with a promise, where the rest of the sentence states “…that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” In other words, we might not live as long if we don’t honor our parents. Even though our parents are the ones that can test us and push our buttons, especially on holidays, they are the also the ones that installed those buttons in us.
Being compassionate is never easy with those who you have much negative history or baggage. Such compassion can only be addressed with a simple expression of forgiveness. Even marriage is a form of perpetual forgiveness, and we must act be the same with our parents and each other. In the world of care giving, compassion cannot come without work in understanding each other. With compassion comes the other virtues of patience, temperance, justice, gentleness, and fortitude. The only thing that comes above compassion is love, which is the bond of perfection. By having love for others, a real sacrifice in the agency and caregiver’s profession to help others will enable every person in the circle of influence to live in peace. Let’s all honor our parents, no matter how often those buttons get pressed. That includes our caregivers and ourselves.