Skip to content

February 24, 2010

31

compassion? even when it comes to the Anthony’s?

by Andrea O'Connell

I have not walked in the Anthony’s shoes, and I am certainly happy about that.  Now, I know the Anthony’s are not sympathetic characters as they have been deceptive & illusive, rude, careless, and have, at times, told many differing tales – variations on many untruths, or so it would seem.

But, you know what?  I never thought I’d ever, ever say this, but right now, I feel sorry for the Anthony’s.  I don’t want to see them lose their home – the only home Caylee knew.  I wouldn’t want to lose my home, either – no one would.

Let me tell you where I am coming from.  I have had the good fortune of seeing His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, twice over the last two days.  I was over the moon to see him (I’m seeing Desmond Tutu on Friday!!!)  And as a result of this experience, I am seeing and feeling a bit differently.

The Dalai Lama at NSU

The Dalai Lama Visits Nova Southeastern University

The Dalai Lama’s mission is a mission of compassion; he is recognized as the Buddha of Compassion. He was “chosen” or rather, reincarnated to succeed his predecessor, the 13th Dalai Lama, when he was only two years old.  He was the fifth in a Tibetan family of sixteen children.

To make a long story short, I felt the compassion he has and which he spoke so eloquently about.  His compassion is for the earth, and for all the people on it.

He sees our earth as a place where we are all one people, we are all equal in essence, too.  Now, there are internal and external differences between all people, this is certain.  But, from the Dalai Lama’s perspective, he says as human beings we must recognize that all people have one universal need and it is, simply, the pursuit of happiness.  Simple?  Not so much.

He spoke of the need for happiness as a universal need – a truth, and we must not make incorrect judgments of others   We must take a holistic view and only make our judgments based upon facts.

The Dalai Lama said that there is Godliness in forgiveness; in non-judgmental responses.  I see that, truly.

This was written into today’s program:

“Universal responsibility is feeling for other people’s suffering just as we feel our own.  It is the realization that even our enemy is entirely motivated by the quest for happiness.  We must recognize that all beings want the same thing we want.  This is the way to achieve a true understanding, unfettered by artificial consideration.”

I am going to try, from this day forward, to do my utmost to feel compassion for the Anthony’s, no matter what crazy comment they make or action they take.  But, opinion, on the other hand, our opinions and the freedom we have to speak our differences,  is a must, and it is our absolute sacred right.

We must always continue to discuss our differences in opinion, truly.  What a boring world it would be if we all thought alike!

Advertisements
31 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ideas
    Feb 25 2010

    How do you define this happiness that is the root for which everyone is pursuing? What is this happiness, on all its levels?

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 25 2010

      oh my goodness… that’s sure a good question. Well, I try to find happiness moment to moment – in little and big things. I love writing, it makes me happy, seeing blue skies, cool breezes and hearing the wind whistle… Nature and animals are the most soothing things for me. My dog makes me happy when he relentlessly tries to lick my fingers or my lips clean of any speck or aroma of food…. (He’s a Chihuahua and they are scavengers!).

      Echart Tolle says the secret is to live in the now, and I find that works for me. The Dalai Lama says we have to try very hard to eliminate ALL negativity from our internal and external lives to find happiness (among other things), and that is part of it.

      Right now my cat, Beau, is on my lap, and purring – and that sure makes me happy!

      Reply
  2. Boston
    Feb 25 2010

    Happiness reigns in the heart.

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 25 2010

      oh yes it does, Boston, yes it sure does. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Ideas
    Feb 25 2010

    Is happiness different for different people? Is it wil’o’the wisp, a mirage, allusive, fleeting? Is happiness something Good? Or something selfish? Self-satisfaction, self-achievement? It’s easy to throw around eloquent, lofty ideas or feel-good terms in one big goup hug. Does this dilute and merge what is good and evil?

    Do “all beings want the same thing we want?”

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 25 2010

      Oh, I do love the word “wil’o’the wisp”

      I agree with you and your ideas, Idea! LOL.

      It is very easy to throw around lofty and eloquent ideas – I was thinking that very same thing when the Dalai Lama was speaking…but, then I thought, well, that may be true in the moment, but the secret is to live day to day with the quest or pursuit of happiness….

      However, we have to keep it grounded too, which is what you’re getting at, I think. Casey-Hateful-Anthony got happiness from murdering Caylee and living like a disco star for 31 days. That was her Mecca of happiness.

      So… there’s always the ying an the yang, the push and the pull of good and evil.

      The Dalai Lama said that you cannot possibly live in fairy land and not have any troubles or any doubts…he said we must have conflict in order to grow.

      So, it’s surely a wil’o’the wisp, a mirage, allusive, fleeting, and also deadly, mean, sickening…. it’s life itself…. you know what I mean?

      Reply
  4. Boston
    Feb 25 2010

    Ideas-One of the most interesting books I ever read was Being Peace. I have it on my night table. It is required reading for Seniors in many private high schools. It can be read line by line or a paragraph a day. Often times students will neditate on what they have read and at an appropriate time, discussion follows.

    Happiness is being optimistic especially in light of life events that befall each of us. The Dali Lama does this well and with a sense of humor. There are others though that follow this philosophy/religion and provide a way of thinking about happiness and one’s “bliss” (ie Joseph Campbell).

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 25 2010

      LOL… so there’s another book I have to get!

      Yup, the Dalai Lama has such a funny sense of humor, you’re right, Boston! I love his laugh – right from the belly it is.

      And when he is asked a question that confounds him, he shrugs his shoulders a bit, smiles, laughs and says, simply, “I dunno!”

      I agree with you that optimism plays a big role, too, Boston. I also think that intrinsic motivation plays a part, and not everyone is intrinsically motivated to look for things that please them…. they could be more extrinsically motivated by money, and material things.

      Personally, I am intrinsically motivated when I love what I’m doing, or when i have a clear goal in mind. I’m not too materialistic, but I get materialistic when I feel down or unusually depressed…. Fortunately, depression and I are not keeping such close company these days. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Lori
    Feb 25 2010

    Morning – I really like this post and the concept of forgiveness/happiness is such a meaty subject. That said, IMHO, happiness can be a much overrated quest. For me, it feels like the ‘missing the forest for the trees’ thing. At the end of the day, i think happiness is really just moments in time, in life. Snatches of joy that come sometimes in the most unlikely places. IMO, we fool and disappoint ourselves when we think this happiness is a life filling, constant state of being…it can never be. Maybe (without sounding too dramatic), happiness ends up to be all those moments we truly remember in our lives, etched in our brains that feel so joyous we think we might break.

    Hope this isn’t too over the top. Nice post. Lori

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 25 2010

      Hey Lori,

      it’s funny, I think the same thing about the moment to moment happiness… I think it’s so true, and yet difficult, too. And there are different extremes of happiness, like you say, we could easily fool ourselves to think that happiness is ever-sustainable, cause that would be unrealistic. I like to think of happiness as layers of things in my life that bring joy….my family, writing, friends, theatre, work, quiet time reading….

      anyway, I love your post here. 🙂

      Thank you so much… I think we all read this and went “aahh, how lovely!”

      andrea

      Reply
  6. Boston
    Feb 25 2010

    Lori and Ideas-It certainly is not over the top or too dramatic. It sounds very credible to me. I will provide a link for you both that is really worth the read. I have posted a couple of links this moring and have not done a very good job. If this link doesn’t pan out simply Google Being Peace and click on teh excerpt.

    http://www.cit-sakti.com/peace/peace-being-peace.html

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 25 2010

      Wow… this looks like a great book (but that link is not it…LOL!!!)

      Here’s a link on Amazon… this is another must have book, Boston! Thanks so much for letting us know about it… I love it… it appears to be filled with nature images, too, which I love!

      Here’s the link (I hope it works…LOL):

      http://www.amazon.com/Being-Peace-Thich-Nhat-Hanh/dp/0938077007

      Reply
  7. Lori
    Feb 25 2010

    Hi Boston – hope all is well. I have always felt and so appreciated your observations. Thank you for the link – I’ve googled and printed some excerpts. Looks like a wonderful read. Just wondering – have you read “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama by any chance? I read it years ago and it sticks with me. There is much talk of ‘connectness’. It seems reasonable to me that we can’t possibly find compassion outside ourselves without some sense of happiness and peace within ourselves. Very interesting, liberating ideas.

    Nice to see you. Lori

    Reply
  8. Andrea
    Feb 25 2010

    Hey you all have such great insight….I just love reading your comments, and I am sooooo anxious to get home tonight so I can relax and carefully read what you’ve written – such wonderful comments here, thank you for sharing.

    One question….. What’s this I hear that the Anthony’s not living on Hopespring? I’ll be anxious to learn what you know about that…

    I don’t own the Pursuit of Happiness book…. our campus bookstore has a copy (I believe – unless they’ve run out)…. If I can, will buy a copy at lunch…Right now!

    Bye for now!

    All the best,
    Andrea

    Reply
  9. Boston
    Feb 25 2010

    Lori adn Andrea-I will add the Pursuit of Happiness to my library list. I made a New Year’s Resolution not to buy too many books this year although I love to have books -I even like looking at them! Similar to those who collect things-I collect nothing but I love a good source when I see one.

    I will get an interesting link for you if you ever thought about going to Nova Scotia for a trip. Most people go on a vacation and are happy to have a change of venue. This vacation might be in pursuit of happiness if there ever was one. BBL (I’m getting the lingo down)

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 25 2010

      LOL Boston, yup the lingo takes some time to learn … I’m still learning!

      Would love those links. TY so much.

      Well, I checked at bookstore and they are out of book. But I found out it’s the ART of happiness, vs. Pursuit in the title. Instead I picked up another of his popular titles: “Ethics in the ‘New Millennium” and it looks good too.

      Gosh I know what you mean about books…. I am addicted to them!! I think I almost have as many books as Mozart has notes … “too many notes….”. LOL

      Later….. Andrea

      Sent from my iPhone

      Reply
  10. Boston
    Feb 25 2010

    Near Cape Breten Island in Nova Scotia you will find the Gampo Abbey. Just looking at the pictures of the Abbbey and the Monks and reading about what they do is peaceful.

    http://www.gampoabbey.org

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 25 2010

      how nice! I took a look, and it’s just lovely… The monks in this monastic life work hard, don’t they? I do love their goal of “supporting wakefulness, fearlessness, and gentleness. Makes me smile 😀

      Reply
  11. Boston
    Feb 25 2010

    I think I will share what Lori mentioned above about ways or forms of happiness.
    This morning while I sat in my study (TV room really-the room with all the books) I saw a beautiful robin-very red and I think very young. It went scampering across my deck. It is raining here and the little bird almost acted a little scared – like being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    These moment,I think, are the gifts we are all asked to open. They are the moments which bring us happiness and an opportunity to be thankful.

    Seeing my little kitty (slender and thoughtful) curled up on her favorite chair makes my heart sing. I worry about how warm she is and if opening the door will somehow chill her -she is 20 years old now. When we feel these kinds of feelings – they make us grateful. I have had feelings of sadness at knowing that this might be the year she goes Home – I just want to thank my higher power for giving me all those years of happiness-and to think I never said thanks or was even aware of how much she meant until now. I think that’s what they mean by being “awake”. It feels good when it probably should feel bad.

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 25 2010

      what a lovely post… you do write so well.

      And, I agree….when we drink in the moments, we’re more awake!

      I have been where you are with elderly kitties, too. It’s so desperately hard to think of them not being there… they leave such a void when they go. I just lost my cat, Lilly, after 20 years. And, in 2003 I had to put down my first cat, Tallulah… she was the love of my life… I got her when I was at Purdue, in Indiana, and feeling so homesick! What a partner Tallulah was. I still cry thinking about her.

      I think animals are little spirit-gifts that are sent with love from above…

      Reply
  12. Lori
    Feb 25 2010

    Thank you for sharing those moments precious to you. This is EXACTLY what I meant earlier…I’d like to share too.. I used to have a bird feeder in my backyard – early mornings I’d see robins – male and female – the male feeding the female. The male was big and very red and the female is lighter in color – it made my heart jump. There is a certain way the trees look when it’s snowed. A certain smell in the air (someone’s fireplace burning) can make me stop in my tracks, the memories crisp and clear. Also, I understand the mix of sad/happy…some of those moments I wish I could freeze in time. Early mornings – the quiet before the world gets going – kill me…my favorite time of the day. The ironic thing about these things we mention is that there right there for all of us if we look. They’re free and no one can take them from us – they belong to us alone. I like that.

    Rambling on…there are two spots in the Dalai Lama book that I read many years ago that stand out in my mind. He is talking to two of his friends who have had life changing events. One has just won a substantial amount of money in the lottery and another has been diagnosed with AIDS and his days are numbered. He visits with each about a year after these events and here’s what they say: the woman who won the lottery says at first things were great, she started her own business, quit the job she hated, etc. BUT after a while, she pretty much felt the same way she did before…same sort of sadness, frustration. The other, a man diagnosed with a terminal illness said he’s never been happier. He said at first he was scared and angry and then…he became peaceful and valued each day, each moment differently than he ever had before. He said his life was much more fulfilling than it had been and he was HAPPY. I love this and it rings true in my mind. We take ourselves wherever we go – so it’s got to be about those moments, not money, not fame (we’ve seen enough wealthy, successful people in this country destroy themselves in one way or another)…it’s got to be something else.

    This subject excites me really. Thanks for the conversation.

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 26 2010

      Oh, what a story! So nice… and you know, it’s so true, we take ourselves with us where ever we go and it’s much nicer to notice azure skies when they are there, how green the grass is, or how the snow sparkles when you look at it a certain way. those are the things that make me happy, too.

      there’s a lovely place near me called Butterfly World… they have thousands of butterflies, hummingbirds, and a great variety of colorful flowers…. you all would love this place. I go there often to drink in the colors and the life that’s there. 🙂

      Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 28 2010

      Lori,
      I love your writing, btw!

      Reply
  13. Boston
    Feb 25 2010

    Lori-OH, how thoughtful it is to share and to place the reader around such lovely birds and the serenity of the cold and snow. I was warmed by that fire. I think we miss the bliss and real moments of happiness when we do not stop and look up and out at the world. St. Francis of Assisi was asked what he would do if he knew he had one more day to live and he said, “Plant a tree.”

    I alwlays tell Andrea that sharing and support is better than money in the bank. So are these moments.

    (Tonight I saw Crazy Heart. We all find forgiveness and redemption and sometimes it comes with a broken heart. I wish things could have been different for them. Jeff Bridges sings beautifully -the lyrics were hard to hear but the melodies were lovely. I am not a fan of C&W but the backup bands were great. Robert DuVall had a cameo role but a dynamic one-he rescued him.

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 26 2010

      Oh my, yes, Boston, you are right – sharing and support is better than all the money in the bank, it is so true. And reading your thoughts now and a few months ago, helped me appreciate it’s unfair to ourselves to squander away moments that could be happy ones, with moments of fear or sadness….

      I have enjoyed reading everyone’s posts tonight – such inspirational messages….. and I am now, thankfully, sleepy!

      My cup is full …. thanking you greatly……

      Big hugs,
      Andrea

      Reply
  14. Boston
    Feb 26 2010

    Andrea, I know it is hard to say some things but I just want to tell you that when we do have those moments of sadness they are not squandered. When you had the courage to tell us how you felt a couple of months ago-you brought out the best we had and sanctified our lives. Sadness, just like any other gift when opened alone makes the journey to wellness harder and longer. You did a good thing.

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 26 2010

      Oh thank you so much for your lovely and dear comments.

      You and all our friends here were such a huge help to me. Your words of encouragement then and now meant so much.

      I read and re-read your advice a few months ago – all of your kindnesses – and it was great solace.

      Every thanks….:)

      Sent from my iPhone

      Reply
  15. Boston
    Feb 26 2010

    When you send a message you are obviously away from your home and your computer? I am going to get Magic Jack because my landline does not work. Do you recommend this replacement? I ask because you are a computer geek or at least I think so.

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Feb 28 2010

      LOL…I’m on my phone… and I-phone that “me” likes very much! It does everything! I even downloaded the compete plays of William Shakespeare!

      it’s like a personal computer all rolled into a phone… I do love it.

      I am not familiar with Magic Jack, but I know just enuf to be dangerous with VOIP….

      I use AIM, an aol application, to voice chat with friends occasionally. It’s very good quality, that uses (I think) VOIP.

      I don’t know too much about VOIP telephony or technology…. just personal phone stuff….LOL

      G’night my friend.

      Andrea

      Reply
  16. Ideas
    Feb 26 2010

    Reincarnated?

    Reply
  17. Boston
    Feb 27 2010

    HA!

    Reply

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: