Loving Sympathy

“What if, when the poor leper came to the Lord to be healed, he had said to Peter, or some other understrapper, ‘Here, Peter, you go touch that fellow and I’ll pay you for it’? Or what if the Lord, when he came on earth, had come a day at a time and brought his lunch with him, and had gone home to heaven overnight? Would the world ever have come to call him brother? We have got to give, not our old clothes, not our prayers. Those are cheap. You can kneel down on a carpet and pray where it is warm and comfortable. Not our soup–that is sometimes very cheap. Not our money–a stingy man will give money when he refuses to give himself. Just so soon as a man feels that you sit down alongside of him in loving sympathy with him, notwithstanding his poor, notwithstanding his sick and his debased, estate, just so soon you begin to worm your way into the very warmest spot in his life.” ~Dr. Charles H. Parkhurst, as quoted by Jacob A. Riis in his autobiography The Making of an American

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Wizards and Artists

“No woman is old as long as she loves and is loved.”  ~Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theo, quoted in Van Gogh by Pierre Cabanne, © 1961

which is very similar to

“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.”  ~The Wizard of Oz

but I’m not really a fan of either, because it removes control from the individual.  “Loving” is an action we can choose, “being loved” is out of our hands.

Plague

“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?”  ~Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras