Friday, February 20, 2015

The Power of Compassion #1000Speak

I am a private person. 

Today, I could not write a blog post.  I was blocked, and had no inspiration until I read one of the most powerful blog posts I have ever read.

You really have to watch those women from Nebraska.  They sneak up on you.

So, I learned today there was a project called "1000 Voices for Compassion", where bloggers were encouraged to " write posts about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others, non-judgement, care for the environment etc, and ALL PUBLISH ON THE SAME DAY (Feb 20th) to flood the Blogosphere with GOOD!"  

This young woman from Nebraska talked about her fiance.  She is in an interracial relationship.  She talks honestly about some of the "ugly looks" that have been directed in their direction.

So let me tell you a little bit about myself that I have never told my readers about before, and tell you about lessons in compassion that I never fully realized until recently.

In 1970, when I was 17 years old, I started dating a boy who was going to the same college as I was.   We were of different religions.  I am Jewish.  My husband is Catholic.  In 1970, that mattered.

It mattered a lot.

Some members of my family were less than thrilled.  I have had no contact with my mother's side of my family in many, many years.  Some members of my future husband's family were less than thrilled, too.

But there were the many people who had compassion, who saw past the religious differences, who accepted us for who we are, and I owe a great debt of gratitude to every one of them. Until tonight, I've never thanked them publicly.  Some of them, sadly, are no longer with us, having moved on to the next level of existence.  But I want to say to each of them, "Thank you".  My grandfather.  Cousins.  A childhood friend. My husband's next door neighbor. Some Aunts and Uncles on both sides of our family.  And this is just for starters.

Meanwhile, we, my husband and I, have been married for nearly 41 years.  Our love is deep.   I hope that young woman in Nebraska can say the same about her and her Warrior Man, 41 years from now. (Too bad I won't be around to help her celebrate.)

Times have changed tremendously.  I owe a debt to those who went before me, who helped pave the path of compassion that my husband and I walked.   I haven't done enough to extend that path to the generations that have followed me.

You never know what one small act of compassion will do, until you are on the receiving end.

16 comments:

  1. Strong relationships always require hard work, even under the best of circumstances. When life puts extra - and unnecessary - barriers in our path to nourishing those relationships, we are especially grateful to those who help to lift the barriers. No doubt we all have such people in our lives and it is always good to remember and thank them, as you have.

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    1. Thank you, Dorothy. Sometimes, we never get to know how one little act (or what we think is little) for someone we know becomes so important to that other person.

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  2. Thank you for sharing, Alana.♥
    Two of my cousins (we're Catholic) married Hindu girls and I'll never forget how accepting my grandfather, a pillar of the Church, was about this. It's an example, I strive to follow.

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    1. My grandfather, whose acceptance of my fiance paved the way for some others on my father's side to accept him, was also a deeply religious man. Perhaps, in some ways, your grandfather and mine were similar.

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  3. It's funny how small the blogging universe can be.

    :-)

    Saw your comment on Amy's Adventures and now I am reading your contribution to #1000Speak, which is a very important cause to me.

    Without compassion, as a visually impaired woman, I don't know where I would be.

    Glad to see you posting right along with the rest of us.

    Take care.

    Kerry

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    1. Thank you. The post on your blog about the six year old with autism touched my heart, as I have a brother in law in his 50's with autism. I've heard of this thing (children invited to child with autism's birthday party; no one shows up) happening so many times, it is heartbreaking. Thank you for visiting my blog.

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  4. Thank you for sharing something that must have been difficult to write about. Your relationship standing strong all this time proves that you made the best choice and the family that stood by you helped to show you what love and compassion really is about.

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    1. Thank you, Snarky Momma. It was quite difficult to write about; I almost deleted it several times - I am normally an intensely private person. I treasure those who stood by my then fiance and me.

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  5. You're so right, Alana. Sometimes, we don't thank or even acknowledge those who offer us support in difficult times. To err is human. I'm glad you could face the situation because of the prompt.

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    1. I did it, Francene - it was hard, but I did it. I did it because of the courage of another blogger, and I thank her.

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  6. How the world has changed. When my aunt married someone who wasn't Jewish, my grandparents sat shiva for her. My 24 year old daughter hasn't dated a Jewish boy since high school and no one blinks an eye. Congrats on 41 years, it's won to read about enduring loving relationships.

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    1. Not everything has changed for the better in 45 years, but that is one thing that has. I wouldn't be surprised if some sat shiva for me, but that is all in the past - many, many years in the past now.

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  7. I can recall the attitude toward racial marriage. No all wounds aren't healed but we have gain some ground. Now sane sex couple are gaining ground...But we still have more to over come.
    Coffee is on

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    1. We do have a long way to go, I can agree with you there, Pepperlady.

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  8. Alana, thank you for the shout out, it really made my day. I am really touched by the story of your relationship, and the strength you have shown in your relationship. You are such a beautiful person. Thanks for sharing your strength with others.

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  9. Alana,
    This post just brought tears to my eyes. I'm glad that your husband and you persevered against so much negativity, and I'm doubly glad that you are still a happily married couple. How nice that things have changed so much and that they are still changing, where marriage between different religions and races is concerned. How sweet that you proved all the naysayers wrong. Thank you for sharing this bit about you; I'm sure you've encouraged a lot of others with this post. *hugs*

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