The war in Ukraine is at the top of all our minds, and at least for myself, I’m thinking of the financial implications that uncertainty brings. Truthfully, this brings me a bit of shame; there are people hiding and fearing for their lives, and I’m worried about the economy and the financial implications this conflict may have.
What are your thoughts here?
My response to myself has been, “Hey Ash, it’s natural to first think of how any situation affects you. Now that you acknowledge that, instead of feeling shame, how can you find an additional dose of compassion for those in Ukraine and people with first degree relatives living there?”
I remember reading a story about a Rabbi’s wife who was living in America during the Holocaust. She decided to live in solidarity with her brothers and sisters who were suffering and dying, and to not eat meat nor drink wine. My initial response was, “Big deal, people are dying– how do you think you not eating meat and drinking wine makes a difference?” After a bit of reflection, I decided that it symbolically did make a difference, and more so, it was a constant reminder to have empathy and compassion.
This taught me that it’s not enough to commiserate and have empathy for those who are suffering; I need to find a way to remind myself on a regular basis to have compassion for others. If I don’t, it’s inevitable that I will be focused on myself and my problems and not feel a sense of responsibility. Even if I can’t do anything about it, I have a responsibility to care, to be compassionate, and to offer a listening ear and a caring heart.
This week, let’s find a way to identify with our fellows who are suffering, struggling, and fearing for their lives. Let’s — even if only symbolically– choose a way to commiserate and share their pain.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
I want to remind all of you that you can hear more on my podcast, Showing Up. We have lots of amazing shows with interesting guests on a variety of personal development topics. It would be great if you could also rate 5 stars, review and subscribe to the show. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/showing-up-with-asher-gottesman/id1489856285y