a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
In my life I have been blessed to see all forms of compassion, in one form or the other. It is so much more than a word with a rather lengthy definition. It is an act, a voice, a moment in time, to gain greater human understanding.
As a child, I saw it plenty, though never truly recognizing it. The empathy handed out to a young girl from a "broken home". The kindness given in hopes that it would change the course of life and keep it from repeating itself.
I saw it when I was barely 9, when our community gathered to support my family in their time of need after the loss of my step father. I saw it when I was a teenager, trapped in the walls of a depression, teachers pushing and prodding, in hopes I would see the light.
Compassion can at times be suffocating, unwanted, yet totally needed. Just a small act, a small reminder that we are noticed in this amazingly vast world filled with so much negative and darkness.
As I grew up and matured, I was able to see how acts of compassion could change a person. Still, it wasn't until I was a mother, a guardian that compassion took its hold and transformed me into the person you see today. A person who finds the positive in amongst the negative, who can cherish the little things in life. Who sees good in all people, the possibility for amazing when the person may not see it in themselves. Who is able to push and help others without even thinking. That is who I have become, all because of one change in my life I never saw happening.
Becoming a Cub Scout leader.
I walked in that door 6 years ago wanting a place for my oldest son and my nephew who I had guardianship of. I didn't know that night that my life would be changed for the better. It wasn't the organization in itself, it was the people that accepted us into their scout family with open arms, who with their small acts made it easy to fit.
It started with a uniform, it ended with tears of goodbye as one age ended and my time as Cubmaster began.
It also started with a boy, a child, sitting in the back with tears in his eyes as he saw other boys receiving recognition, while he received nothing. This boy, who had by no fault of his own, missed out on important meetings and trips, was feeling left out at that one main event each month. It was his face that burned in my mind as the years went by and I picked up on the fact that no child should lose out. No child left behind.
It started with a uniform.
I was that child with tears in my eyes, who watched as others were given opportunities that I would never have. I was that child who knew my mother struggled with our own bills, who wore hand me downs to dance class, because we couldn't afford new. Yet, it was that act, that small start, a old pair of dance shoes that made my dreams a possibility.
It started with a uniform.
As I grew in my position and the door swung both ways, I noticed a pattern. The boys who would enter once and never return, were the same boys whose parents looked worried when they heard prices and fees announced. How could I not see it, when I had lived it in my own life?
Slowly, I planned a mission. Oh,no! I would find a way, so these bright eyed boys would never have eyes filled with tears.
And it started with a uniform.