Tag Archives: compassion

The Stranger and The Memory

We all have our moments of joy, of doubt, of sadness and tears.  We all have our talents, our limitations, and our challenges.  There is commonality in our lives and yet we are all individuals, unique and complex.

Behold the strangers as you pass by, there is little you know about them.  Their lives are a mystery, perhaps shattered like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle scattered across the table waiting to find connections.  You pass, never knowing the burdens, challenges, or obstacles they carry within their soul like a weight upon their back.

Life is not always easy, for some the challenges are not apparent, they are devils within the depth of their inner soul.  They are the burdens of life, covered and hidden from the outside world, known only to thy self.

It is hard to understand the unknown, and more difficult to appreciate the shoes within which the stranger walks, if you have never known the path by which they trod.  Look upon thy stranger as a friend, a fellow member of humanity, for you are their stranger.

What does the stranger see in you as they pass?  Are you just another stranger from the dark unknown or a sudden moment of comfort with a smile on your face or a warm greeting of “good morning”?

Open your heart with compassion, empathy and concern for the unknown stranger and find within yourself an inner warmth.  Take the time to assist a stranger faced with an obvious challenge and you will feel inner warmth for you have made the world a better place.

For some, life is not easy, but your response to the unknown world of another can make a world of difference in their life.  You may never know how you contribute to the comfort or challenge of another but they will know.

You will make memories today, what they are is largely up to you.  Your compassion, patience, and tolerance can be a world of difference in the life of another, don’t let them walk alone in darkness bring them some hope and light, give them a memorable moment.  Share your love for humanity, the world will be a better place.

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Who Are The Beautiful People And Where Do We Find Them?

We have all heard the common refrain beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.  Each of us may find beauty in a different way for it takes many forms.  Just who are the beautiful people?  Is there a common element, something elusive found in the beautiful people that sets them apart for the rest of us?

Noted author and psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kubler Ross once spoke about “the beautiful people” saying, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”  In her view beautiful people are all about the soul and character, the inner beauty and nothing about physicality.

One has to wonder how Dr. Ross would view the political art of personal destruction practiced by so many today.  It was just last week that Connecticut Democratic candidates during a public debate were asked about embarrassment in their past.  Is a single past action so overwhelming so vile that it should eliminate a candidate from consideration?

Put into the context of today’s political debate Dr. Ross’s observation provides a worthwhile perspective and perhaps understanding as to the character value developed in overcoming obstacles as we go through life.  Experience and time can bring great positive changes into any life. We should consider this when we evaluate candidates for who they are not who they were or what they have done. There is virtue in redemption.

In each of us there is the clay of beauty waiting to be sculptured by our own life experience and our reaction to it.  Beauty knows no bounds of age it can be found in the very young and very old.

The perception of beauty is an amazing experience.  When found it can change our outlook it can change our life and how we interact with the world around us.  For some the sculpture of beauty comes from a lifetime of observation, challenges, untold sadness, rejection, tragedy and remorse.  For others the beauty of compassion, sensitivity and a loving concern for the world around them and the people they encounter seems to be a natural part of their inner soul.

The most startling discovery of beauty is the moment you find it, the moment you see it and realize what a creation it is, what beauty it has and the potential of what it can become.  Beautiful people are all around us but the first one you must find is in the mirror.

Beauty is all about perception and the most beautiful opportunity of all is given to each of us within ourselves to become one of the “beautiful people”.  The clay of beauty is in your hands to sculpture and mold by your thoughts, acts and deeds.  It is a fact of life, that clay is soft and malleable, so if you don’t get it right the first time you can always start over.

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Coventry Budget: Are We A Caring Community?

Coventry is an exceptional small New England community; it is often mentioned at the Town Council meetings we have active and supportive citizen volunteers stepping forward to serve their community.  One such organization Coventry Helping Hand has recently been organized to assist our neighbors, not with a handout but with helping hands.  The organizers recognize that in this economy some of our neighbors are struggling.

The Council needs to be cognizant and more mindful of the impact even a small tax increase will have on our community at this time.  While some will call this proposed increase minimal and point out that to an owner of a median valued house it would be only $1.15 per month, to others that can be significant.  How many of us are aware of the number of families living on an economic edge in this town?  We have a community food bank that is currently serving about 115 to 120 clients per week.  That translates to 115 families that need assistance for even the basic need of food.

Yes, the increase is small but it is not compassionate.  I ask the Town Council follow the lead of Coventry Helping Hand and reach out to help your neighbors, reach for your pencils to erase the small increase in your budget.  It will not solve our neighbors’ problems but it will not add additional hardship.  If we can find money to pay extra for green energy we should be able to find a way to help our neighbors.

According to statistics provided by State agencies and published in the Hartford Business Journal out of 61 towns in the greater Hartford region Coventry was one of 16 towns that spent more money than the total taxes collected in 2010.  Only nine municipalities had debt service in excess of their total general fund balance.  Coventry was one of only five towns to appear in both categories.  According to the Connecticut Department of Labor of the five towns, Coventry has the lowest annual wages, at $33,692.  In today’s economy of rising prices that leaves little for discretionary spending and any tax increase can be a burden.

There is a large built in increase this year since the basis of comparison was a budget inflated over actual cost last year largely due to savings in the insurance line item.  Even a zero increase this year allows for additional spending since we over budgeted last year.  The combination of that savings and the increase in the grand list provides about $1,000,000 extra without raising taxe.

The Governor has talked about shared sacrifice and too often that has been equated to higher taxes with the sacrifice coming from the taxpayers.  It is time the shared sacrifice be looked at from another side, the side of government and spending increases.  At no time in the past 25 years has a tax increase been more inappropriate than this year.  At no time has the economic hardship on our neighbors been this difficult.

For the sake of our neighbors, I urge the Town Council to adjust the budget to show compassion for your neighbors living is less fortunate circumstances.

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