Courage and Compassion

Courage and Compassion:  Two Master Keys to Happiness and Contentment in 2020.
Dr. Fr. Davis George
We are often in a relentless pursuit to be happy at any cost by focusing on external things, people and situations. Often fleeting moments of happiness do not bring the contentment in life and make us think what the key to happiness is. Happiness is an inside job. Beginning of the New Year is the grace filled time to revisit our life style and make life style changes. 
Courage to face challenges in life
One Day Thomas Edison Came home and gave a paper to his mother. He told her, “My teacher gave this paper to me, and told me to only give it to my mother”.  His mother’s eyes were tearful as she read out the letter aloud to her son: Your child is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself.
Many years after Edison’s mother died and he was one of the greatest inventors of the century. One day he was looking through the old family things. Suddenly he saw the folded paper in the corner of the drawer in a desk. He took it and opened it up. On the paper it was written: Your son is addled (mentally ill). We won’t let him come to school any more.
Edison cried for hours and then wrote in his diary: “Thomas A. Edison was a mentally deficient child whose mother turned him into the genius of the Century.”  It takes courage to respond to an expected turn of events as Thomas Edison’s mother did.  Courage is a positive response to a seemingly insurmountable situation where we are often tempted to give up and blame others.
After the death of Moses, Joshua had to take up the leadership of the people of Israel and was frightened as no one could match the towering personality of Moses.  God reassured him that he will not be left alone and God will walk with him.  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) Confronted with sickness, failures, betrayal, let downs we often loose courage and feel paralyzed and lonely within.  Then we are tempted to give up.  We fumble, falter, fail and fall unable to surmount challenges within and without. It could be challenges at home with your spouse, children, aged parents; Emotional problems or financial problems; work place challenges or future concerns. Courage is what you need. The ability to whisper, “This also will pass.” One day at a time sweet Jesus as the song goes.   As it is written in the Bible, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. (Is 41:10) We do not know what the future holds but one thing we know that our future is in Gods hand. Fear is a paralyzing feeling and we need to overcome by building self confidence and confidence in God.  If God is for us, who can be against us?  (Romans 8:31) “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”(Heb 13:5) Tough times don’t last; tough people do.  Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win. 
“When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit…” ~ John Greenleaf Whittier

Compassion can build bridges in relationship
The story of one glass of milk can inspire all us to be more sensitive and compassionate. One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.  He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.  Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water! She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?"
You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."  He said ... "Then I thank you from my heart."  As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.
Many years’ later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.  Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.  Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.  Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.  He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.  After a long struggle, the battle was won.
Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, and then wrote something on the edge, and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words...  "Paid in full with one glass of milk" (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.
Many relationships are broken; many dreams are shattered because we have not been taught to practice kindness and compassion in life.  Families are not run and homes are not built by establishing who is right and who is wrong.  It is often compassion; empathy, forgiveness and understanding that would build relationships. Self sufficient and self righteous attitudes can stifle the growth of intimacy. Indifference and apathy can be like slow poison which can kill any relationship.
Jesus was a man of compassion.  Moved with compassion, Jesus fed 5000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish; raised the only son of a poor widow from death; healed many people with infirmities.  Befriended and transformed the lives of those on the periphery, the Samaritan woman, the woman caught in adultery, Mathew the Tax Collector and host of others. The parable of the Good Samaritan is the best illustration of what we all need to practice in actual life.
Dalai Lama said, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. “We need to look beyond our pain and feel others pain and plunge into action. How true, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”  ― John Holmes
Only a courageous person can practice compassion.  Only a compassionate person can be courageous without feeling insulted or humiliated.  Courage and compassion are two pillars of interpersonal relationship and family life.  Parents have to practice these two important virtues and teach their children to practice the same.  Often modern man lacks resilience because he has been always brought up within the comfort zone.  Modern society often glorifies culture of violence, hatred and indifference. We need to go beyond our comfort zones and break the shell of self righteousness and self-centredness and become people who care about others needs and challenges. We need a revolution of tenderness as Pope Francis said. In today’s we do not need selfish intellectual giants but sensitive human beings who can reach out, touch and heal the broken world; and practice courage and compassion in daily transactions.  This could be a wonderful New Year gift we give to others, Courage and Compassion.  Courage to do the right thing without counting the cost and to be compassionate without any conditions.  Violence and bloodshed, murder and suicide, loneliness and depression, hatred and jealousy are all results of lack of inner courage and inability to deal with persons and situations with empathy, kindness, forgiveness and compassion.  Going beyond the boundaries of caste, creed and nationality we need to cultivate compassion and become better human beings. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ― Leo Buscaglia. Happy New Year.

Dr. Fr. Davis George, Director (Former Principal, St. Aloysius College),
St. Aloysius Institute of Technology, Near Ekta Market, Mandla Road, Jabalpur (M.P.).PIN- 482 001. Mob: 9425152081, Email:, Websites:

Love Came Down at Christmas

Love Came Down at Christmas
Dr. Fr. Davis George
A prince wanted to find a maiden suitable to be his queen. One day while running an errand in the local village for his father he passed through a poor section. As he glanced out of the windows of the carriage his eyes fell upon a beautiful peasant maiden. During the ensuing days he often passed by the young lady and soon fell in love. But he had a problem. How would he seek her hand? He could order her to marry him. But even a prince wants his bride to marry him freely and voluntarily and not through coercion. He could put on his most splendid uniform and drive up to her front door in a carriage drawn by six horses. But if he did this he would never be certain that the maiden loved him or was simply overwhelmed with the entire splendor. The prince came up with another solution. He would give up his kingly robe. He moved, into the village, entering not with a crown but in the garb of a peasant. He lived among the people, shared their interests and concerns, and talked their language. In time the maiden grew to love him, because of who he was and because he loved her first.
Amazing power of love we see in the world; in human beings; in birds and animals; in the world of creation. A mother sacrificing her entire life for her children out of love. A young man and woman in love ready to go through all struggles to keep their love growing. Genuine love will not count the cost but will give and give; will make time and space for the person we are in love with. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (Jn 3:16). God did not become a human being for any particular nation or religion or group. God loved the world consisting of different languages, cultures, religions, traditions and belief systems; saints and sinners.  Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ it was foretold, “A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (Which means God with us) (Is 7:14). What an amazing story of God’s unconditional love for humankind. And that is what we see on the first Christmas night. Love came down.
He came in the silence of the night piercing the darkness of the night and bringing light and salvation.  As written in the book of Wisdom centuries before the birth of Christ, “For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, thy all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne, into the midst of the land that was doomed, a stern warrior carrying the sharp sword of thy authentic command, and stood and filled all things with death, and touched heaven while standing on the earth.” (Wis 18:14-16)  
Man landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969 and came back to earth successfully.  2000 years ago God came to this world leaving behind his glory and power to live among us and save us from sin and death.  Longest Journey of love not to explore the World but to save humankind.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”  (John 1:1,14) And for this Jesus had to strip himself of the glory and honour he had and become an ordinary human being. “He emptied himself taking the form of a servant…and made himself obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2:6-8) Love is a journey of self emptying and humility.
What does love look like? St. Augustine said, “It has feet to go to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of others.” Love came down when Jesus showed compassion, love and forgiveness.  Love came down when Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman; the woman caught in adultery, Zacchaeus, Mathew the tax collector and transformed their lives.  Love came down when he made the deaf hear, the dumb speak, the lame walk and the blind see.   Love came down when he multiplied five loaves and two fish and fed over five thousand people.  Love came down when he died on the cross for others and prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Lk 23:24)
We can show love when we go out of the comfort zone, go to the peripheries, to the last, the least and the lost.  Love has to appear in action. “Let us not love in word or in speech, but in deed and in truth.” (1 Jn 3:18)  And that is what God did on the first Christmas night.  In today’s world we need to establish a culture of love, a civilization of love. We need a revolution of tenderness as Pope Francis said. Hatred and violence will not solve any problem. Only love in action. Love is patient and kind, Love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude... (1 Cor 13).  Mother Teresa once said, “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” Love begins in your heart, in your home.  Less of self-righteousness and religious fundamentalism; more of compassion, empathy, kindness and understanding. We deserve a better world.
The famous author, Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry".  Leo Buscaglia said, "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."  Let us build a better world and treat each other as children of the same God with humility, respect and kindness. As Christina Rossetti wrote in her poem, “Love came down”: 
“Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.”

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      ;h”kq ds tUe ds 700 o’kZ igys ;g Hkfo’; dh xbZ Fkh fd ,d dqokajh xHkZorh gksxh vkSj iq= izlo djsxh ftldk uke bEekuq,y gksxk ftldk vFkZ gS&ijes”oj gekjs lkFk gSA¼;”kk;kg 7%14½ ;g v”krZ izse euq’; tkfr ds fy, D;k gh vn~Hkqr gS vkSj ;gh ckr fØlel dh og jkr esa fn[kkbZ nsrh gS] tc izse /kjrh ij mrj vk;kAog jkr dh [kkeks”kh esa /kjrh ij T;ksfr vkSj mn~/kkj ysdj vk;kA tSls dh izKk xzUFk esa fy[kk gS] ^^tc lkjh i`Foh ij xgjk lUukVk Nk;k gqvk Fkk] vkSj jkf= rhoz xfr ls vk/kh chr pqdh Fkh rc rsjk loZ”kfDreku opu rsjs vifjorZuh; fu.k;Z dh ryokj ysdj] LoxZ esa rsjs jktdh; flagklu ij ls ,d nqnZE; ;ks)k dh rjg ml vfHk”kIr ns”k esa dwn iM+kA og mB [kM+k gqvk vkSj mlus loZ= e`R;q dh vkrad QSyk fn;kA mldk flj vkdk”k dks Nw jgk Fkk vkSj mlds iSj i`Foh ij FksA** ¼izKk&xzaFk 18%14&16½

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      ge ,d csgrj nqfu;k cuk,¡ vkSj ,d&nwwljs dks mlh ije firk ds cPps le>dj uezrk] vknj vkSj n;k Hkko ds lkFk O;ogkj djsaA vkidk izse bl /kjrh ij mrjus nsaA

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