Saturday, August 17, 2013

What If You Knew You'd Be the Last to Touch Someone?

“True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings.” ~ Pema Chödrön
I read a poem this morning, by author Ellen Bass ~ in which she poses a most simple question, "What if you knew you'd be the last to touch someone?" how might you change your interaction with this world?

The question is indeed most simple, but also one worthy of much deeper contemplation.

What if you knew you'd be the last person to touch another? To be, of their last and final moments on this earth?

Would you, perhaps, take that one moment longer to consider their words?

Might you offer a bit more patience and compassion in lieu of tossing about such grumbling words?

But more importantly, would you perhaps...let them slip past those many fortresses you've built, and in order to experience the true depths of your compassion?

If only we knew...
"What if you knew you'd be the last
to touch someone?
If you were taking tickets, for example,
at the theater, tearing them,
giving back the ragged stubs,
you might take care to touch that palm,
brush your fingertips
along the life line's crease.

When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase
too slowly through the airport, when
the car in front of me doesn't signal,
when the clerk at the pharmacy
won't say Thank you, I don't remember
they're going to die."
My dears, on this day, be mindful to others ~ that their story here is forever intertwined with your existence. And when, at first glance you feel your 'temperature rising' ~ allow a pause instead, for impulse to give way to compassion.

Namaste, and much love on this day ~