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It’s not enough to be busy;
so are the ants.
The question is:
what are we busy about?
Henry David Thoreau

ants2

Not causing harm requires staying awake.
Part of being awake is slowing down enough
to notice what we say and do.
The more we witness our emotional chain reactions
and understand how they work,
the easier it is to refrain.
It becomes a way of life to stay awake,
slow down,
and notice.
Pema Chodron

In this TED Talk, Daniel Goleman begins with a study conducted on seminarians at Princeton. Given the assignment to preach a practice sermon, half were given as a topic the parable of the Good Samaritan. The other half were assigned random Bible topics. One by one, they walked to another building to deliver their sermon. On the way, each of them passed a man who was bent over and moaning, clearly in distress. Who stopped to help? Those preparing their sermon on the man who stopped to help a stranger in distress on the side of the road? No more likely than the student thinking about some other Bible verse. The determining factor was how BUSY the student though she or he was. If they were in a hurry, or preoccupied with their own concerns, they didn’t stop. So, a key to compassion is making room in you life to pay attention to the suffering of others . . or as Sister Pema advises, stay awake, slow down and notice.

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