So, last month I initiated the blog on compassion, and in similar fashion as I have done with other blogs, this will be part two. This month’s focus will be on tying this back to being GROUNDED. Again, compassion is a verb, and it is defined as sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). To start off this blog, let’s look at a simple example of compassion… you see a person who is carrying a few items in and on one arm while holding the hand of their toddler and they are approaching a door that you near but not intending on going in. what would be the appropriate action here? Well, hopefully you would say, to confirm they were going in that door and then open it for them. That is a very simple form of compassion, which you may have heard some refer to as a random act of kindness or possibly “paying it forward”.
Now, let’s take a look at deeper matter… you see someone at school who you know from past observations and hearing the other students talk, isn’t well liked for no other reason than they aren’t as “good looking” as other people and they don’t have the best clothes. You are at lunch and you see them sitting by themselves as always. What would be a compassionate action that you COULD do? Well, the first and likely most obvious response would be to CHOOSE to go sit by them. The second, if you didn’t want to be that bold, might be just to walk over and say something nice to them. Now you need to understand that because of how they are normally treated, that there may be hesitance on their part if not even outright rejection. However, with that being said, that shouldn’t surprise you and it shouldn’t drive you away. Just as their being rejected and ridiculed by their peers didn’t happen overnight, their open acceptance of others most likely won’t happen instantaneously either. But this is where YOU can make a lasting, impactful, difference in this person’s life.
Now, as always, I want to bring alignment of this matter back to being GROUNDED, using the GROUNDED acronym (Kidd, 2017). Now, you’re probably already familiar with this acronym and its origin as it relates to me and this organization, based on your following of our blogs. For those of you who aren’t familiar, it is a mnemonic tool; something used for quick recall that one can use to change their life.
Here’s the breakout, with each letter having a specific meaning or significance:
G – God
R – Respect
O – Observant
U – Understanding
N – New Experiences
D – Diligence
E – Education
D – Daily Effort
To start with, G stands for God, and since there are people of various faiths who will visit this site, let me bring clarity. In my referencing God, I’m referring to The Great I AM, Jehovah, YHWH, the Completely Self-Existing One; The God of the Bible and the Hebrews. Sadly, if you follow another god, then what I’m presenting is more than likely offensive to you. However, let me assure you that’s not my intent. I only desire to let you know that no other god has ever loved me so much that they were willing to die for me. Additionally, of all the other deities or those identified as “holy” people, none have ever walked away from their grave. Yet, my God did just that through His Son (Jesus / Yeshua). So to me, that kind of love and historical evidence serves me to the point that I KNOW that I can place my trust and faith in Him. For me, God is not about religion but so much more; relationship. He has told me who I am and His words as my Creator (Elohim) far outweighs whatever insults a human may decide to hurl at me.
R stands for Respect and as we clarified in the blog on this subject, it is a matter that applies from myself towards God and others, but it starts with myself. If I don’t get that first part right, then none of it will work. Interestingly, it all has to start with faith that I trust (more than likely blindly at first) that God is exactly who He claims to be. As I move forward in faith, and begin to learn who God is, then I become more easily able to trust and respect Him. It is through my respect for God and His Word (known as The Bible) where I begin to learn and inevitably know that He knows EXACTLY what I’m going through. He knows exactly how I should deal with it and has even given instructions in His Word. In addition to His written Word, He’s also given us Himself in the form of man, His Son (Jesus / Yeshua), who is also referred to as The Word, since He was the physical personification (embodiment/ representation) of what God said and was recorded as The Scriptures (II Timothy 3:16). In addition to this, I must have enough respect for myself to believe what He has said and I must be willing to follow His guidance. There are numerous Scriptures where God identifies who we are in His eyes. Respect for others, is merely having the respect for them as one of God’s creations, just as yourself.
Next is the letter O, which stands for Observant. To be observant, one must pay strict attention to a thing such as your surroundings. Whether we acknowledge it or even more so, identify that there are in fact so many things in this world that are set against us, which often can be turned to exploit us, they are out there. All you have to do is open your eyes; it’s on the news and social media. Sadly, there are people in this world who live for the purpose of making others victims. They are known as predators. Some of the ways they physically victimize others is through violence, sexual assault, and abducting. On the internet, you not only have individuals, but you have entities from companies and other countries who are seeking individuals they can exploit and this comes through the form of cyber-attacks (malware, viruses) and hackers.
U is for Understanding. In the general sense, this ties closely to being observant. Understanding also fits in nicely to our topic of compassion. If we engage the O and U elements of the GROUNDED acronym, being both observant and understanding, we can and most likely will be moved as Jesus was, “with compassion” (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 18:27; Mark 1:41 and 6:34). However, God doesn’t want us to be foolish in our decisions and cast aside being aware of the environment we’re in. Does He provide us with protection? Absolutely, yet even Jesus forewarned us when addressing Satan’s challenge in the wilderness, that we are not to “tempt [test] The Lord your God” (Luke 4: 9-12). This was also one of the reasons why Jesus sent out the six pairs of disciples with nothing more than the clothes on their backs (Luke 9:3). The other was to develop the disciples trust and dependence on God; to build their faith in Him as their Provider (Jehovah Jireh). So from the safety aspect, always use the skills of observation and understanding. In doing so, it becomes easier to counter a potential attack (physically and or spiritually). People who are focused solely on the physical aspects of this world, they will always find themselves in a reactive mode. However, for the person who understands these things and accounts for the spiritual they will always move in wisdom that God provides.
N is the next letter, which stands for New Experiences. It has been said, that if one does the same thing over and over again, while yet expecting a different outcome, they are practicing insanity. Think about it, that is such a waste of time effort and energy. Is there not something better you could be doing? PLEASE DON’T PRACTICE INSANITY! As for relating this to the subject of compassion, this may be a totally new experience for you. Being willing to make yourself available is a big step. Especially, if you’re an introverted personality type. Reaching or just simply letting someone you see who needs something, that you’re there can be a major action, but it is also very often one of the more rewarding and fulfilling things. But you’ll never know until to decide to allow God to use you.
D is the next letter and it stands for Diligence. This means to strongly apply one’s self to something. Not just “any” thing but a “special” or “specific” thing. Anyone who has become someone of recognition, such as an athlete, entertainer, artist, business person, etc. has given themselves to not only develop but actually hone their skills. Likewise, if you desire to have a better life, then you should seek out and practice those things that will make that a reality. Also, I cannot encourage you enough to look to the ONE who created you and gave His Son so that you would be able to have the life He desires you to have. Therefore, it’s key for you to give special attention to your walk with God and Jesus.
The next letter is that of E, which represents Education. Now don’t be fooled or boxed in on your thinking when you hear the word education; it is not merely limited to what you learn in that place we call school. Education is everywhere! As I mentioned in a previous blog (Character) there is a term known as Gestalt, which is a psychological theory by the psychologist Kurt Lewin, and means to be the sum total of all our parts (Kidd, 2019). That means is that whatever we’re exposed to during our lives, potentially becomes an element or fragment in the person we ultimately become. Since education isn’t limited to school, God educates us every time we read His Word, the Bible, or listen to those He has ordained as Pastor’s Teachers, Preachers, Prophets, and Evangelists. But going back to understanding, we must test what is said and who says it against the Bible. For if we blindly accept it as many do today, we can be deceived and lead down a wrong and destructive path. We are to be diligent [in study of Scriptures] to present (prove) ourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15). Furthermore, with regards to education, remember though it is good, it only produces knowledge. Wisdom is the greater goal and is that which is truly beneficial and that only comes from the application of that knowledge; producing a specific and desired outcome. Even though wisdom is Biblically identified as being a good and a principle thing, the best wisdom, is what comes from God. However, know that the only way you will ever get Godly wisdom is through learning His Word and being in relationship with Him through prayer.
The Final letter is D and that stands for Daily Effort. Though it is much like diligence, it has a much broader scope and it means that in everything that we do, we must be consistent. We must always apply ourselves to this journey called life. Daily effort, like diligence is rewarded.
As I bring this blog to a close, hopefully you can see the importance of having compassion. Also, going back to the recent blogs on Respect (Aug and Sept 2019), where I showed a triangular relationship image of respect, which included our fellow humans as well as God; it all ties together. The key to your being successful in this is to ALWAYS ask God, through Jesus, to help you where you are not able to do it. For as the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Philippi, we are able to do ALL things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us; the One whose name is more powerful than any other name (Philippians 4:13 and 2:9). With that, I’m going to leave you with the statement I closed a few other blogs with; No one person, will by themselves absolutely change the world. But even though initially showing compassion may be a difficult challenge, in the end you’ll be able to say that I did something that can ultimately influence a change in the world.
References and Resources:
Compassion (n.d.). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compassion. Retrieved on 27 September 2019.
Kidd, R. (2019). Character (Part 2): Superhero, Villain, or Somewhere in between? Blog. Retrieved from https://newhoperising.org. Retrieved on 31 October 2019.
Kidd, R. (2017). The Young Person’s Survival Manual: How to Survive in Today’s Ever-Changing World. ISBN: 9781629528953. Xulon Press. Maitland, FL.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version (1985). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.