I researched the qualities that make up compassion and here’s what I found:
patience and wisdom; kindness and perseverance; warmth and resolve.
I’ve been thinking about the children and students returning to school, college and universities, feeling hopeful that amid all the confusion and mixed messages, the media hype and the U turns, there will be an under-current of compassion.
Compassion for all the young people who are now being warned ‘not to kill granny’ (a pretty harsh message), for those youngsters who are doing their best to fit into the rules of social distancing but still wanting to get back to school, to see their friends and to (dare I say) visit their granny without bumping her off.
Compassion for the pupils who have enjoyed learning at home; away from bullies, from challenging bus journeys and from the feelings of overwhelm with school – but are still returning anyway.
Compassion for the teachers who are only doing what they are told by their senior teams, who are dealing with rules that are changing day-by-day and still trying to make them work, who also have families at homes, with the same fears and concerns as everyone else.
Compassion for the parents who know their kids need to be back in school for their wellbeing, their education and their social growth but who feel alarm at sending them off into an ever-changing situation.
Compassion for the bosses who want their staff back but have no idea how their businesses will weather this economic storm.
Compassion for the people in the world of politics and media who seem to send out relentless mixed messages of information and misinformation - either knowingly or not.
Here’s what I believe: the qualities of compassion are everywhere in bucket loads:
Patience and wisdom; kindness and perseverance; warmth and resolve.
It’s not one single person’s fault that everyone has to stay in one room, or wear a mask in lessons, or have to take a weird packed lunch, or go to school in their PE kit, or stand apart in break… or any of the many extra rules being set. This Covid-19 situation is not the younger generation’s fault, or the older generation’s fault. We are all in it together.
We’ll get through this with compassion for ourselves and compassion for others.
We’ll get through it with kindness to ourselves and kindness to others, and with the warmth that naturally envelopes kindness.
We’ll get through with perseverance and resolve; knowing that continual teacher assessment seems a reality, so we can resolve to work hard and persevere in case our everyday schoolwork is the ultimate basis of our grades.
We’ll get through with patience to know that this isn’t personal and that everyone is doing the best they can – even if it doesn’t look like it there and then.
We’ll get through it with wisdom to know that, right now, we are doing okay – without the panic of tomorrow or the pain of yesterday. Today we have this covered.
Compassion: the blanket that covers it all.