An Environment of Compassion

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012

At work on Wednesday I received some bad news. While updating our Twitter (twitter.com/benedictinn), I saw that Honduras was one of the trending topics…

Last summer I went with the Butler Catholic Community to Honduras on a service trip. We worked with an organization called Sociedad Amigos de los Niños. I learned more about serving others here than I have with any other volunteer experience. I realized that part of serving others is not just the tasks you preform for them, but it includes your motivations, your compassion and, most importantly, the relationships you create with both those you serve and those you serve with. It was definitely a life-changing experience for me. It’s one of the main reasons my eyes were opened to a possible career in non-profit…

And here, on Twitter, I read about a fire in a prison in Comayagua that caused upward of 350 deaths. That itself was horrifying and deeply upsetting.

Later, when I logged into my inbox to send an email, I coincidentally received a message that our upcoming return trip to Honduras is canceled this year due to a number of factors. Needless to say, I was not in a good state by noon prayer.

However, here I discovered yet another reason to be grateful to be interning at Benedict Inn. At a place that focuses on serving spiritual and emotional needs, I found great compassion and sympathy. At many other jobs, I may have heard people say, “Why are you so upset about a fire killing prisoners that you don’t even know?” At Benedict Inn, I was surrounded by compassion and those offering their prayers, guidance and encouragement.

If anything, this experience has reinforced to me the value of working in an environment that focuses on understanding and supporting individuals’ multidimensional needs. I now wish to make a conscious effort to become integrated into that environment.

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