Face the world around you with compassion. Don’t look away from the people or things that make you uncomfortable. Gently acknowledge them and their suffering and allow it to open your heart ever so slightly.

Acknowledge the people who are sick, mentally ill, paralyzed, and traumatized; the very real problems that people in our world face. This can be overwhelming because if you are like me, it can make you feel helpless. An easy first step is to simply face the people you see today with compassion and an open heart.

Every day we are confronted with our fears of illness, injury and loss. Nobody likes to be faced with the harsh realities of life. It would be so much easier to just turn a blind eye to the people, places and things that makes us feel bad. I tried to do this for a long time and finally realized that it doesn’t work; it made the fears stronger. I didn’t want to read the newspaper because it made me too sad. I didn’t want to know about global events because many made me feel helpless and frightened. One day, I realized that this would only lead to further separation between those who need to be helped and those who are in a position to help. If you are reading this on your computer and you live in the United States, you can do something. We are beyond spoiled here. Melinda Gates put it best when she said, “let your heart break a little.” She suggested that by understanding the problems of others and feeling the pain that compassion often brings, you open your heart to new ways to help. The byproduct of this is empowering yourself to do something and inspiring others to follow your example and pitch in.

Image source: Aurore de la Morinerie