On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.
One of my go-to books for inspiration is Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. Here’s one of my favorite passages:
Nothing helps us build our perspective more than developing compassion for others. Compassion is a sympathetic feeling. It involves the willingness to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, to take the focus off yourself and to imagine what it’s like to be in someone else’s predicament, and simultaneously, to feel love for that person. It’s the recognition that other people’s problems, their pain and frustrations, are every bit as real as our own—often far worse. In recognizing this fact and trying to offer some assistance, we open our own hearts and greatly enhance our sense of gratitude.
Compassion is something you can develop with practice. It involves two things: intention and action. Intention simply means you remember to open your heart to others; you expand what and who matters, from yourself to other people. Action is simply the “what you do about it.” You might donate a little money or time (or both) on a regular basis to a cause near to your heart. Or perhaps you’ll offer a beautiful smile and genuine “hello” to the people you meet on the street. It’s not so important what you do, just that you do something. As Mother Teresa reminds us, “We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do small things with great love.”
Compassion develops your sense of gratitude by taking your attention off all the little things that most of us have learned to take too seriously. When you take time, often, to reflect on the miracle of life—the miracle that you are even able to read this book—the gift of sight, of love, and all the rest, it can help to remind you that many of the things that you think of as “big stuff” are really just “small stuff” that your are turning into big stuff.
Source: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson, pp. 17-18.