I am reading a great book by Jim Wallis called "The Soul of Politics." It speaks about the need for true, prophetic, and wise leadership in every level of American life, and comments a great deal on compassion and social justice. This excerpt really spoke to me this week and I thought I would share it. Thank you for listening to our stories and the stories of those we have encountered. May your ears and hearts open to hear the stories of those around you.
Compassion always begins with listening. The word compassion literally means 'to suffer with,' to put yourself in someone else's position, to walk for a little while in her or his shoes. The listening that leads to compassion is the beginning of understanding.
Getting close enough to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste the reality of others is what always makes the difference. In listening to the stories of those so seemingly different from us, we find similar but unexpected voices inside of ourselves. Hearing one another's stories is the beginning of a new understanding and the foundation of compassionate action.
- Jim Wallis