Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality


A mask of compassion

posted by Cheryl Petersen

In my observance of life, I’ve noticed a human trait that can get out of hand.

We humor ourselves or others.

I’m not talking about humor, hahaha. Wittiness and fun lay low when we want to humor someone.

To humor someone is to indulge them, to give them slack, or comply with what they are saying or doing.

If we pick this apart, humoring someone can be a form of compromise.

Spouses humor one another so as to get along. For example, my husband listens to my ranting and nods as if I’m interesting.

Parents humor their children to keep them quiet or content. They let them watch too much TV or do what they want.

And, a pattern materializes. Things become unreasonable. Decisions become inconclusive.

Quite often, humoring others then gets confused with compassion, and it appears unloving to contradict the process of indulging myopic views, opinions, traditions, laziness and bad habits.

Although it takes effort to remove the mask of compassion from humoring the human egos, it’s worth the effort.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “It is important to examine our inclinations and intentions. Mental examination is the way we learn what we honestly are. If a friend informs us of a fault, do we listen patiently to the criticism and reconsider our attitude? Or, do we react by giving thanks that we are “not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector”?[1] During many years, I have been most grateful for constructive criticism. The misdeed is destructive careless criticism, which does no one any good.”

get-in-line-5

[1] Luke 18:11 (NRSV)



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