Personal, Society
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Compassion is Light

After being reminded of some personal philosophies earlier this morning, I want to take the time to explain it.

I wrote this poem 7 years ago after a conversation at dinner with my buddies about relationships with people:

An act in progress
is the star within you.

Simplified to four stages:
Red dwarf
Blue giant
Supernova
Black hole

Bring out the light in those around you
or engulf them with your own.
What is it that you want –
a harmony
or an overwhelming shell.

Self-confidence comes with the brightness
you emit
and cause others to emit.

Centered on yourself
you drain all around you as a black hole
pulls in even light.

Drowning in the ever amassing matter
accumulated throughout years of darkness.

None can save you but yourself.

So you, I am talking to
pick yourself up
and act in the manner you believe to be best.

I will expand on what I wrote in poetry form.

If we imagine each of us as a star (which I believe is appropriate, since we are basically made of stardust), we all have different types of shine. So as stars, we are always giving off a shine in our social relations – the impression you make to others, the actions you take that affect how others feel, the compassion or empathy you demonstrate, and such.

Now, just as there are different intensities of stars, there are different intensities of how we present ourselves. Some people, like supernovas, outshine and drown out everything and everyone around them in an explosion of their person.

Others, whose gravity about themselves are so intense, are like black holes. They suck in all the light of those around them, ever darkening their world.

There are also those that we all enjoy being around. They are stars that don’t outshine. They are stars that don’t have super gravity collapsing on themselves. Their shine is just warm and bright enough that they bring out the light in others. They complement the light in others without taking too much or giving too much. They are stars who are sure of what they are, just confident enough in their kind of light.

Obviously, this is a somewhat simplified view of relationships, but I think stars are good metaphors because we are all stars in our own right. We are all good in our own ways but as social creatures, it’s about what we give off to others and we can choose and decide that! Some of us need to retrain our light, some of us need to brighten, yet others like supernovas and black holes need to become whole (no pun intended).

Now, why did I title this “Compassion is Light”? Well, the light you see in yourself and the light you can give off, ultimately comes from the love and confidence you have in yourself and in the world. Once we find our own light, we can shine them on the less fortunate and bring their light out. Our self-confidence and love allows us to truly care about those around us. With that warm and bright light, we can brighten those around us as they start to brighten themselves.

If our hearts can be light (in all meanings of that word) we can be compassionate and empathetic to the world. Our world needs more of that.

So, what kind of a star are you?

[Image via NASA]

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