COMPASSION IS PRICELESS
We're so quick to offer opinions, self-analyze problems and tell others what we think. I recently had a phone conversation with a woman who had me so confused, I was convinced she was suffering from a mental ailment. I made an assumption without knowing the facts, and I did it with little compassion. I just wanted my problems taken care of and she wasn't doing a good job. So I got frustrated and labeled her incompetent.
I later apologized to her because I realized I was wrong. I'm sure she didn't feel good hearing someone tell her, "You're the one who's confused, not me." The second those words came out my mouth, I wanted to suck them back in.
I have a lot of opinions. We all do. Sometimes we need to be tough with our opinions, and sometimes a softer approach is needed. I've learned that when it comes to voicing opinions, the softer approach is always better received. But speaking with compassion isn't always easy.
For example, telling someone who is suffering from a health problem that the problem isn't as bad as she claims... now that's lacking compassion. People know their own bodies. We should respect that. We should respect their opinions about the causes of their problems and the extent of their sufferings. The bible tells us that only the person involved can know her own pain and no one else can really share it. How can we possibly know what causes people's ailments or how bad those ailments really are?
There's a time and a place for tough love. Sometimes people need a Dr. Phil type of awakening. But for the other times, when someone is simply sharing a problem that is out of her control, the best counselors are listeners. They don't harshly voice opinions, they listen. That is, after all, what people want most. In a world filled with so many opinions, compassion is priceless.