(A re-post for newer readers of this blog.)
When you see a man led to prison say in your heart, “Mayhap he is escaping from a narrower prison.” And when you see a man drunken say in your heart, “Mayhap he sought escape from something still more unbeautiful.” -Kahlil Gibran (Source: Wordsmith.org)
I believe there is much wisdom in these words, and in compassion. When I find myself short on compassion, a little wisdom often goes a long way to remedy the situation.
I rarely feel anger for more than a few seconds or minutes, and hate is an emotion I thankfully purged from myself long ago for completely selfish reasons.
But when I feel disappointment, it typically turns to understanding and then compassion (and sometimes even love on my better days) when I take the time to learn the whole story behind a person’s actions or situation.
I do all of these things for myself, as my life and my world are made better when I do them. If in the process, others receive collateral compassion and kindness, I’m gladdened by it.