Journal Entry: John Dalaly-12/20/2023-Compassion and Empathy

Journal Entry

As I sat in my office, reflecting on the journey that brought me to that moment, I thought about the profound role that faith plays in our lives. Faith is like a guiding light that helps us navigate through the darkest of times. It’s a reminder that God is our ultimate protector and that we are like clay in the hands of the Divine Potter.

I recalled the pleasure of watching the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It’s a film that beautifully captures the essence of the holiday season – a time when we most appreciate the true treasures in life. We cannot buy them with money. The love of our family, our unwavering devotion to them, and our good health represent the greatest gifts we can receive.

While I cherished the memories of past holidays spent with my wife, children, and grandchildren, now I am separated from them. It’s my own doing, and I must work daily to focus on making amends.

I refuse to let this separation overshadow the blessings and memories of my life. My faith keeps me focused on what I can control rather than what I am missing. Faith teaches me to feel grateful for every moment, every act of kindness, and every opportunity to make a positive impact on someone’s life.

Speaking of acts of kindness, before I surrendered, I had an encounter that left a lasting impression on me. I came across a man standing on a street corner, holding a sign asking for help. Moved by compassion, I opened my car window and gave him some money. His face lit up with gratitude, and he thanked me warmly.

Later in the day, as fate would have it, I found myself in the same convenience store as this gentleman. I noticed him purchasing a pint of vodka and a pack of cigarettes. I approached him and asked for his name, a simple gesture to acknowledge his humanity. At first, he was hesitant and curious about my intentions. I explained that I wanted to understand his story, to know more about his experiences, and perhaps offer guidance and motivation.

Our conversation revealed that life had dealt him a challenging hand, leading him to seek solace in substances. I couldn’t help but see the potential within him, even when he couldn’t see it in himself. I encouraged him to consider the “help wanted” signs in nearby stores and offered to be a guiding presence in his life.

In moments like these, I was reminded of the power of compassion and the potential for transformation. Sometimes, individuals lose their way due to circumstances beyond their control or the choices they’ve made. But as we approached that season of hope, I was reminded that the kindness and guidance we offer can be a beacon of light for those who have temporarily lost their path.

In closing, I encourage all to find inspiration in unexpected places, and allow the spirit of unity and compassion to serve as a guide as we navigate the complexities of life. Let us remember that it’s not about where we are but who we are, and the love we share with others.

Biblical Reference: “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

– 1 Corinthians 13:13

Critical Thinking Questions:

How has faith played a role in your life during challenging times?

What acts of kindness have you witnessed or experienced that left a lasting impact on you?

In what ways can we embrace the spirit of unity and compassion, especially during the holiday season, to make a positive impact on those around us?