Jewels of Compassion

Last year, during a poetry workshop called ‘Writing for Comfort’, I came across ‘Small Kindnesses’ by American poet Danusha Laméris. The poem felt like life wrapped in a cotton ball. It felt snug, like a warm blanket of love. The premise, so simple, yet infused with an unfathomable depth, left me awestruck. It taught me that more than the craft, it’s the intent of your words, that matters. ‘Small Kindnesses’ is the hope we need in our lives today. I’d like to quote my favourite lines from the poem.

//Mostly, we don’t want to

harm each other.

We want to be handed our cup of coffee

Hot,

and to say thank you to the person handing

it. //

Simplicity is the jewel in this crown. Not just of words, but simplicity of action as well. You don’t need to do big charity to be compassionate.

This brings me to mention a beautiful book that I received for winning the ‘Popular Choice’ award at the Storyteller’s BlogHop, Season 2, for my story ‘Fuchsia’.

The book that I speak of is ‘My Act of Heart’, Ideated and Curated by Anjali G Sharma and Deepika Ahuja. As the tagline mentions, it is about ‘Celebrating Real Acts of Compassion by Children from around the World’.

What does compassion mean to you? How do you practice it? Should you have lots of money to be compassionate?

The stories featured in this book talk about everyday kindnesses, as mentioned in Laméris’ poem. Understanding compassion is no rocket science. It doesn’t need degrees or certifications. In fact, you needn’t even look far. For compassion begins with the self. It has several facets to it. Acceptance; being non-judgmental, empathetic and giving; being able to feel and respond with understanding; being grateful and mindful of one’s privileges.

As children these come easily to us. But adulting often puts simple, everyday kindnesses on the back burner. We are often found harping about charity but fall short of compassion to those closest to us. Sometimes, even to ourselves.

Reading ‘My Acts of Heart’ will inspire the reader to face life’s challenges with love and kindness. The stories are simply crafted and all super-heroes in these tales are young children. While they teach you to practice compassion in every little way possible, from writing letters to random strangers to being kind to yourself for failing an exam to giving away your favourite thing to someone who needs it, these simple acts also teach something far more important. None of our champions of compassion ask for anything in return. An act of empathy doesn’t seek trophies. It only seeks to ignite compassion in the hearts touched by it. Beautifully illustrated, with words of wisdom from several torch-bearers, the book is a must read for children and adults alike. It is utterly necessary for our times, because our self-seeking, war-torn, pandemic-stricken, self-serving society could do with a little graciousness.

I’d like to end with a few more lines from ‘Small Kindnesses’.

// We have so little of each other, now. So far

     from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.

     What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these

      fleeting temples we make when we say, “Here,

      have my seat,” “Go ahead— you first,” “I like your hat.”

The purchase link for ‘My Act of Heart’ is given here.

 ‘This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with RRE Studios and ShowCase Events.’

37 thoughts on “Jewels of Compassion”

  1. I so agree with you. You said- it’s just comassion and nothing much needed to be helpful for anybody else. It would be so easy if people would just be as empathatic as in this post. Life would be very beautiful for sure.

  2. Thank you for highlighting this. Small kindnesses don’t cost much but can make all the difference to someone’s life.

  3. So sweet and true! As we grow up we forget what basic compassion is. We seek charity to soothe our soul but forget to show a simple act of kindness to our loved ones or people around us. Saying Thank you is such a simple gesture but when you do say it the reaction you evoke from the opposite person is priceless.

  4. This sounds like a really good book. Poetry does not need big words. Sometimes the simple words have the best impact. My daughter enjoys reading poetry and I will get this book for her.

  5. The poetry you shared is beautiful and heart touching. I’m sure the book you recieved has a lot many of such gems within. Will surely grab a copy of it. Everyone needs some more positivity and kindness.

  6. Really liked your simple words portraying a strong emotion. I wonder when humans will become empathetic. Your writing springs out of the screen and touches the heart, Sonia

  7. I love how you write Sonia, even a review seems so beautiful and magical. I love your choice of words n the way u weave them into a story. My best wishes to you for more beautiful stories n poems.

  8. Love the gems you share, Sonia. That poem is so beautiful and moved me. So glad I read it. Lovely post, that makes one think about how they are living.

  9. yes acceptance, being non judgemental and kind is still there in a few people in the world. hopefully more people will understand this and become compassionate. the world will be a better place.

  10. Loved the title and lovely reading your post, it surely reminds the readers to continue simple steps to be kind which is a jewel in itself. Thank you

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