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  • Writer's pictureJordan Drayer

Focused Compassion

Gevurah of Tiferet

Hi everyone, Jordan Drayer, the savvy millennial voice actress whose compassion is disciplined. Today is two weeks and two days of the Omer. Don't forget you can always like and share.

Today is Gevurah of Tiferet, disciplined compassion. Again, like yesterday, I think it's important to make a difference between love and compassion. How I see it, love is more of a feeling and emotion, but compassion is an action, a way of thinking. People say love is a choice too, but in that regard I think compassion is the vehicle. Like if someone wrongs you, even though you're mad, if you love them, you want to still know them and be friends. And the way you get there is through compassion, choosing to see the action as a one-time thing maybe or really putting yourself in the other's shoes.

So now if love is disciplined by the existence of punishments for bad actions, or by not smothering and suffocating another person with our love, compassion is disciplined by being withheld. This is going to be up to your interpretation, and I think this is a case where many might argue.

For example, if you see a homeless person, and you don't know why they're homeless, is it better to give them money directly or to give your money to an organization or shelter? Which is the more compassionate act? If someone is asking for assisted suicide, but you think that's morally not right, which is the more compassionate act?

This is a really heavy and huge quality to consider, and one where you can argue there's never a right answer. It's always going to depend on the people involved. And even if I say, "I never give out money to singular homeless people; I only give to charities that help them," I may break my own rule one day if the weather and someone's face overwhelms me. Being focused and disciplined with your compassion is the focus today, and it's a hard one.

Other questions approach the disciplined compassion idea from other angles. Are you overly compassionate to the point that you give a lot to charity and then find yourself hard up to pay your own bills? Do you give more easily to strangers than family or vice versa? I do find it easier to be compassionate with strangers, because in a way I feel like my family should "know better." With strangers, I have no preconceptions, so I see them mostly as innocent, but I know my family! Maybe for you, it's the opposite.

Anyway, there's a lot of ways to look at having disciplined compassion, so for today, I'd say pick one area to focus on. It could be your compassion balance between family and strangers, or between one person and many, or even one country versus another. Address someone's specific needs today, and if you don't know them, you could ask.

Or if it's dangerous to ask, consider what you would want in their position. Like if I was homeless, I'd first like a consistent place to stay and shower, so I'd give money to a shelter. If a parent yells at you for not being perfect or doing your homework, maybe the compassionate thing is to tell them "thank you for looking out for me."

Or if this is overwhelming, maybe just journal about it or read stories on how people directed their compassion. Good luck and see you tomorrow.

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