This is a cute video. A young boy plays with a young tiger...running side to side...each having a great time. We can learn a lot from these two. Their relationship is one of compassion. In yoga we call this caring relationship, Ahimsa. Compassion between humans and animals has not always been present. The Bible was once interpreted to say that humans were to dominate, i.e. use animals without care. In reality, God wants us to care for all the other occupants of our world. Compassion is living alongside others, even animals with caring and respect. Many of us have pets we care for but what about other animals? How do you care for other animals or birds? Unfortunately there are still some people who do not care for other creatures. However, there are people who go out of there way to care for other creatures, whether wild or domestic. I am always thankful to the Northeast Animal Shelter who rescued our "son" Neely and allowed Paul and I to adopt him. Nearby in Middleboro there is a rescue group that rescues everything from dogs, ponies, horses, lamas and rabbits. They took in 2 abandoned cats we captured in our back yard. Perhaps we need to be more like the little boy in the tiger outfit, and share life with other creatures with compassion and joy.
As I work at the Gleason Family YMCA, I see many types of families. Lately I have seen more and more grandparents bringing their grandchildren to the pool. Watching these grandparents with their grandchildren warms my heart. They lovingly guide, love and care for the new generation. There is one Grandmother, who still works, that brings her grand daughter every Monday. They have such a great bond. Another grandmother has also been bringing her grand daughter on Monday's. The grand daughter was afraid of the water at first, but now is in lessons because her grandmother encouraged and loved her. There is a couple who brings their 2 grandchildren for lessons one day a week. The grandmother sits with the baby in the bleachers lovingly talking to, feeding, and generally caring for him. The grandfather often swims with the preschooler before lessons and then sits near and watches him swim in lessons. I so love seeing the compassion of the grandparents. It is and example of ahimsa in yoga. It is an example of the YMCA core values - caring, respect, responsibility. It is an example of God's grace. I live the quote from the Dalai Lama shown in the picture above...compassion is a necessity to life. Let's share compassion with everyone we touch this week and be an example to the world of what living life with compassion is like.
In yoga we talk about Ahimsa, non-harming, compassion. Wednesday morning I saw some stories on the morning news that were, at least, extreme forms of Ahimsa.
One of the stories was about a building fire in New York. They showed a man hanging from a window. Another man was on a nearby fire escape trying to reach the trapped man. A ladder was brought up the fire escape. It was extended from the fire escape level below the man to the window below the man. The man who was trying to help the trapped man, walked across the ladder and guided the trapped man down to the ladder. Both men walked back across the ladder! WOW! Talk about stepping out for another person!
I also heard an interview with a person who survived the Navy Yard shooting. This man saw the shooter shoot a friend right in front of him. He could have melted, but ran around the building shooting for everyone to get out, saving lots of lives.
Have you heard or read a story of compassion? Please share stories with us.
As I traveled on Memorial Day, I was listening to news radio. In between the news they were having little clips about what people were doing on that day. During one clip they shared about some families who were spending the day helping people who had been effected by a tornado. They gave their day over to helping others instead spending time with friends. A boy who sounded about 9 or 10 was interviewed. He said that helping others was better than playing games with his friends!! It is amazing how happy the boy seemed. It was good to hear that kids are being taught to help/serve others.
When we help others, we encourage healing and joy in a situation that may not be so good. We are God's hands reaching out to those in need when we reach out and help others. In turn, we feel joy and maybe healing from our work.
Have you ever experienced joy or healing from helping others? Please share your stories.
From Woman's World 2/18/13:
"A kind word goes a long way! In fact, one study found that dishing out a compliment to friends or family boosts your likeability by nearly 40% and builds on the bonds you already share! The key is to make sure your words are heartfelt, as your likability can lessen if the person detects insincerity."
This is part of ahimsa and living a life of grace and compassion as Jesus calls us to live. What do you think?
We talked in Chair Yoga about seeing signs of light in the darkness of the week of the Marathon bombings. There are more and more stories on TV of light, of compassion and caring. Channel 5 has been showing snippets they call "healing". Today I saw one of these snippets where one woman was reconnected with the 3 men who helped with her injuries, applying a tourniquet and caring for her. The light is in the stories of people wanting to buy a new boat for the man who found the younger brother in his boat (and the boat ended up full of bullet holes.) Darkness like that the brothers inflicted on Boston during the Marathon and during the week following aims to deflate us and bring us down. But darkness cannot overtake us if we don't let it. There is the story of the dancer who lost her foot during the bombing but has said on TV that she will not give up. She has not let the darkness take over her life. The light is us continuing on. We continue to be compassionate, loving, caring and reaching out to others...the opposite of the darkness.
John1:1-4 NIV "In the beginning was the Work, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." Jesus in the light in our darkness. We live through Jesus and live like him and darkness will not prevail.
What a week here in the Boston area. We had the quick end to the Boston Marathon with the explosion. Then the suspects from the explosion shot a police officer and shot it out with police. It has been so surreal...like from a movie. I have tried to look for the light amongst the dark all week. I heard a great story about a runner. There where 2 runners talking post race. The man (from Alaska) asked the woman if she had finished the race. She had not because the bombing prevented her from actually crossing the finish line. The man took the medal from around his neck and handed it to the woman who had cheers of joy. So cool.
What stories have you heard that bring light to the darkness of this past week?
Today at Stretch and Flex water aerobics one of our long time participants returned to the pool. It was great to see Marge. Apparently Marge hurt her hip and has been heeling. Today she was with her daughter who was taking 2 weeks vacation and helping her mom to get re-acclimated to the water. As Marge left the pool, I asked Marge to turn and face the class. The whole class waved and Marge beamed saying "I'm back!" Thank you everyone for being so welcoming to Marge. You are a great example of a supportive community and of ahimsa.
I enjoy yoga as it brings peace to my life. Teaching yoga has brought joy to my life and given me a chance to encourage others in learning yoga.