One Little Word: Compassion

posted on: Thursday, January 2, 2014

For those of you that follow me on Instagram or Facebook I'm sure you've already seen this, but it's worthy of one more share (or at least I think so and the Instagram typos have been fixed ;)). This is a post I wrote on Christmas Eve about a particular experience that happened  while trying to frantically track down a package:

"Last weekend we went to visit my parents and it wasn't until we were headed home that I realized I had left my DSLR camera at their house. In a panic I had my mom overnight it to me with the hope of having it in time for Christmas. Because what's the point of a camera if not for Christmas morning?

So in the hustle and bustle of things I stopped by the post office to pick it up on Christmas Eve to only find out that it missed its connection and was stuck at another post office. The Postmaster said that there was no way it would get to me, but if I wanted to drive an hour into town I could pick it up myself. The kids were screaming and plans had already been made for the day and I knew there would be no way I could strategically fit in a last-minute run into town so I went home broken hearted. As I got into the car I started to cry, and as someone that is not normally a crier the tears of  frustration begun to gush out without an end in site.

Pulling into the driveway I became an emotional basket case  as I saw my husband sitting there patiently waiting. As I unloaded the babes from their carseats I proceeded to air my grievances to John. It seemed so silly to be crying over a camera, but it seemed that all the anxiety of the holidays and laundry list of last minute details were finally catching up to me. And as with most circumstances that are out of my control I began to erratically clean my house--because that's what I do when I'm near my breaking point. Not long after that the Postmaster called and asked me to come back to the  office. I picked myself up, cleaned my mascara stained cheeks, and tried to pull myself back together. It was nearly noon and the post office was closing in a matter of minutes and yet a line was still lagging around waiting to haul away last-minute gifts. And in a post office that is lucky to receive 50 packages a day the days proceeding inundated our tiny little office with over 500 packages. It was a crowded and chaotic little place with winter-clad patrons bustling in and out all day while the post office staff worked unceasingly to adhere to their every needs. 

I noticed upon my return that Pat, the postmaster, had disappeared and that only one post office attendant was meeting the needs of all the customers. As I patiently waited the line slowly trudged along until Pat returned. When she called me to the front she held in her hands a small black case. In the last minutes of the holiday rush she had left the post office to rush home to retrieve her own camera.  As I looked at her in disbelief she said "you deserve to take pictures of your babies on Christmas morning." As I started to cry again I said "no one has ever done something like this for me, there's no way I can accept your camera" and she gently held my hands and said "it's the least I can do." As the tears welled in both of our eyes I knew that her simple gesture was a magnified sense of compassion for someone in need.

As I left the post office that day my heart was bursting with the spirit of compassion and love. In those last frantic moments these two wonderful ladies had sacrificed their time and resources in the hopes that I would be able to capture those tender sweet moments of my babies. Cheryl, took the burden upon herself to help the bustling line of patrons by herself and Pat gave of herself in the best way she knew how--a camera."

Over the last few weeks I've considered what my "one little word" would be for the year. After looking back on years past I noticed a common theme of self-improvement and trying to find ways to make my own life better. Then I began to wonder, how often do I work at making the lives of those around me better? Sadly, not enough. How many experiences have I missed to help another because I've been so consumed with my own life? I'm sure there are many.
So this year I wanted to find a way to focus less on "me" and more on "them."

This year I want to be more compassionate.

I want to take the time to connect with my children. I want to learn from them and know that their little hearts are full of so much good--that maybe I can even learn from their sweet spirits.

I want to spend more time with my husband and realize that the frustrations don't need to escalate into big ordeals.  

I want to look for the good in others and strive to be more in tune to their needs.
I want to find a way to do simple acts of kinds without any expectation of praise.
I want to forgive, even when not in the wrong, understanding that sometimes forgiveness means letting go and moving on.
I want to inspire myself to give more, even if it is just a simple task like opening a door or saying good morning. Because it really is the little things that count.
Happy New Year friends. Thanks for reading.
My one little word for 2012, 2013


  1. blogger ate my first comment!

    I love your story - that lady is amazing. I would have been crying too :)


  2. Aww, that made me well up, there are good people out there xx


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