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'Mail' Newspaper Articles

For publishing September 23nd 2014

Being 'Compassionate' is not always easy

We seem to be pulled apart lately when it comes to being compassionate. We get angry quickly when someone stirs our sense of injustice and what we believe to be right or wrong. Just last week Justice Lex Lasry handed down a sentence that many thought was too lenient. He said that he could see that this young man whom he was sentencing, even though culpable of killing three people while on ICE, still had a future somewhere and could be rehabilitated - there was an outcry. However there was also an outcry at Government money being spent on a court challenge.

At times we see people on the streets in a down state and don't really know what their life story is but we often are quick to judge. Yes, and they might be using alcohol, but maybe it is the only anesthetic against the pain of life that they have. Real compassion, which at times defies reason, was modeled by the Compassion of Jesus and further modeled by Mother Teresa and St Francis of Assisi - they were able to get down beside the poor and downtrodden and listen to their stories - some of which had no words.

I do some voluntary work in this field and have found that by listening deeply I have uncovered some intelligent and well educated people who could teach me a lot, yet difficulties in life had taken a toll on them. Sometimes the bad news in the world can be overwhelming and by ourselves we can't adequately respond to it. Some hideaway and refuse to read papers and listen to the radio - well that is one way. An alternate answer is to find a group that we can be part of who can support and encourage us and to help put the 'bad world' news in perspective. That group of course needs to be nurturing one rather than a militant group on a mission, right wing or left, radical Christian or Muslim and any other single minded self-serving entity.

Christianity for me does not exist in true form without the links with, and the following of Jesus and His teachings. His Compassion epitomizes the compassion that He calls us to. The model He left us with was one of servant hood and we often overlook the fact that at the 'Last Supper' He modeled the ultimate servant role by washing their feet. Even though that was the custom of the day, the host normally hired servants to do it.

Don't struggle on your own, get into a group, even a small group of positive and encouraging people where you can experience 'community' in a constructive form. One, for starters is a PGA (Planned Activity Group) run by the Shire. Church Life Groups would be another option. There are quite a few groups in this valley - I might be able to help you find one - 0487698201

Graeme Dawson B.Min. Grad.Dip.CC.
Co-ordinator Focal Point & 'A Few Good Men'


Focal Point Yarra Valley 2009