Monday, October 09, 2006

The Power of Compassion

I wanted to share a story out of The Lost Art of Compassion by Lorne Ladner that you might find inspiring. It is an actual case in point on using compassion to better your world, and it goes something like this:

>>A student of Budhism is at a dinner party with a goup of intelligent and wealthy individuals. They had chatted a bit about Budhism, but then conversation had turned to more daily life type things. One of the guys (John) told this story about how one night he heard a thud outside. He ran to the window to see that his neighbor had just backed into his BMW (parked on the street) and drove away and parked in his garage. John went down and saw that the damage was pretty extensive so he went over to the neighbor's house and began ringing the bell. No answer. He tried knocking for a while and eventually gave up.

His insurance company sued the neighbor and eventually won a $5,000 settlement for the damages. After he got the car repaired, he found one day that it had been deeply scratched all the way down one side. John suspected his neighbor, but didn't witness it so he had it fixed himself. After he got it painted, the same thing happened again. He felt sure his neighbor was to blame so he went over to confront him about it. The guy denied it and threatened to sue him for slander for accusing him of such. He gave up and had it fixed again.

At this point John was constantly peeking out the window in hopes of catching his neighbor in the act and it was driving him crazy. He asked the guests at dinner what they would do. Suggestions ranged from hidden cameras to sensitive alarms (he had to park in the street). The Buddhist student wondered what his teacher would suggest in that situation and instantly knew. He suggested that John should take a gift to his neighbor and apologize for the trouble he has caused him. The people at dinner thought that was crazy and pointed out that the neighbor was a low life.

However, John decided to do just that. He knew his neighbor was a golfer, so he went and bought very expensive golf balls (the type people would not ordinarily buy for themselves). He went to his neighbor's house who was wary to see him. He gave him the gift and apologized for accusing him of scratching his car and wanted to give him a token of apology.

A little while later, the neighbor showed up at John's door. It looked as if he had been crying. He thanked John profusely for the gift and said that no one had ever been so nice to him. The neighbor told him if he ever needed anything, just to let him know. From that point on, he was the best neighbor one could ask for.>>

Just a little food for thought that might benefit you in your lives. It could have saved me problems a few years ago when I was having problems with my neighbors. Maybe it can do the same for you in some way.
Take care,

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