I was reading the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco Newsletter and came across an article titled "Please Remember Me". I had to copy and post it hear as it is really something that I feel very strongly about. I've blogged many times about community and the lack thereof in our society and I think this goes right along with that. If you want to read the whole newsletter it has many good things...here.
When Mother Teresa of Calcutta was
asked which country of all those she had visited
was the poorest, she replied that she has
seen much poverty and homelessness everywhere,
but nowhere had she experienced
poverty like that of America. Why? Because
“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted
is the most terrible poverty.” People in
America suffer terribly from loneliness, even
if they live in the most populated cities or are
surrounded by family. Every person seems
to have an inner cry which silently screams to the world “Please understand
me!” Although it is true that one person will never completely
understand another, due to the fact that we are all created
unique and our expressions are entirely without equal, the thought
that “I am alone” is a slippery slide into darkness.
Unable to find true intimacy or a genuine relationship in a society
which is growing harder and more suspicious of authenticity, an interior
isolation arises and leaves a soul alone without others and without
God. Breaking out of such a state involves immense courage, because
winter is a season many people carry with them year-round.
But one ounce of compassion shown by a clerk, a passer-by on the
street or even a lick from a dog can be the witness needed to break
someone out of their isolation. It is a curious fact of human nature
that the more we flourish in material goods, the less compassion we
seem to show to our neighbor. Perhaps the poverty of spirit Christ
counseled was precisely the criterion for being able to break out of
our isolated selves and be present to those who have fallen victim to
loneliness. Inheriting the earth is to hold all others close to one’s
heart to heal a fragmented society.
Whatever the situation may be, there is never reason to allow a
fellow human to suffer the hell of loneliness. There is no need to
search them out. They are in our everyday lives, and there may be
one looking at us in every mirror. Therefore, we need compassion
toward ourselves and others. This is true wisdom.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle — Philo