Friday, April 2, 2010

Thoughts on compassion and human frailty.....

I felt that I ought to write something as we enter another holiday. In the light of my own life experience recently, and my reflections upon the core of the Easter message, I am struck by the magnitude of compassion there.  When it all simmers down, that is the essence of the Easter story - the compassion/mercy/kindness of God to humanity. I too have learnt in recent times to perhaps begin to have some compassion towards myself - not an easy thing to do, and more than anything I have realised how absolutely vital it is to see other people through eyes of compassion.....

"Because you'll never be a first-class human being or a first-class woman, until you've learned to have some regard for human frailty"

from High Society/ The Philadelphia Story

One of the plot lines in the movie quoted above is the female lead's (Grace Kelly) expectation of perfection from herself and others. When she 'slips up' on her wedding eve, her fiance cant handle her apparent 'fall from grace'. Although he agrees to marry her still when it is proven that the 'fall from grace' really didn't amount to much, it is done with a sense of making a tremendous concession - imagine living with that from the moment you marry !!! This prompts a most beautiful quote from Grace Kelly

"George, I don't want you to marry me because you think I am now worthy of you. It would have ment so much more to me if you had married me because I was unworthy,"

Lucky for Grace's character, her 'true love' steps in and all is well in the end!!

Compassion. Mercy. Forgiveness. Understanding. Regard for Human Frailty. Isn't it lovely?

It's not easy to display compassion these days I must say. Maybe in conventional, 'easy' ways it is (giving money to those less fortunate overseas etc etc) - but to actively show compassion to those who really 'don't deserve' our attempts at kindness and love  - those who are angry, or mean, who behave erratically, who say hurtful things, who appear ungrateful, those who cant help themselves, and those who we cant identify with or understand, that's when compassion gets difficult. But I think it is important if we are to grow into 'first class human beings (who)...... have some regard for human frailty'.

My biggest struggle, however,  is in having compassion for myself - for having some regard for my own frailty, and forgiving myself when I fail.....over and over again. I beat myself up in my head so many times over big and little things, ever condemning, ever eroding my sense of self worth and esteem.....I am not so hard on others as I am on myself, but that is pretty much a trait of my Myers-Briggs personality type (INFJ for those who are into that!!)! If there is one thing I need this Easter is a bit of self compassion and forgiveness.....but then we probably could all use that from time to time, couldn't we ?

I don't think I have shared this wonderful quote on my blog before, and it is sure to feature in the 'quote of the month' at some point, but the beautiful and incredibly perceptive Audrey Hepburn once said

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.”

And it is so important to add yourself to the list of whom that applies to !

Have a wonderful Easter everyone, enjoy your family and your friends. Most especially, may we all show compassion and forgiveness to those we love (and maybe even those we don't !), and importantly also to ourselves. Goodness knows, we all make mistakes, and we all - especially me - desperately need it !Love to you all



  1. Lovely post K - and you're quite right. I'm another one who's much harder on myself than others. More compassion all round is a good thing.

  2. Dear Kesenya, I really enjoyed reading this post, very insightful and lovely. Have a great Easter! Maria

  3. Thankyou girls - do have a wonderful Easter break !! Love to you both ! XX


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