Compassion for others affects own well being

Colleen Harshbarger, Morgantown

As the story about Deputy Mayor Mark Brazaitis came out recently and was posted on social media, I was saddened by the hurtful comments and ways that people chose to express disagreement with another. I supported Brazaitis as a City Council candidate and believe that when he’s in his right mind, he is a good advocate for social justice, health, and environmental issues that affect our community. These issues are all important to me.

Whether you agree with my perspective of his abilities when he’s in good health is irrelevant. It’s been clear to anyone who’s paying attention that something is off.

None of us are unaffected by mental illness, addiction or adverse childhood experiences in our family and friend networks. We might not speak about it, but it touches us all. We also all have our own “less than perfect” attributes. It’s what makes us human.

If we want a better community, we need to find ways to support each other instead of ways to tear each other down. Respectful discord in the civic and political arena create vibrant communities. But I encourage all of us to adopt a more compassionate approach.

Compassion is a practice, and just setting the intention and holding it for a minute or two can make a big difference. The next time someone triggers you (it happens to all of us), see their humanity. Try offering up a wish for their health, well being and happiness. You might be surprised at how it affects your relationship with them as well as your own well being.

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