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Guest post by J. M. Hawkins

Dear Soul,

There is so much suffering in the world that I feel the need to just “turn off” to the suffering of others.

Dear Life,

That’s a real turn-off. I urge you to find the courage and compassion to tune back in…because someday you too may be in trouble and need to activate the emergency broadcasting system. And what if nobody hears you?

Which reminds me of the story of The Maddened Elephant and the Daisy.

The crazed elephant rampaged through the forest, squashing everything in its path. For this great, unhinged mind, the world had disappeared—except as a state for his rage.

Breaking out of the trees, the elephant charged along a high ridge. Suddenly, he heard a tiny scream of terror. Stopping and looking down, he saw a trembling daisy only inches away from death under his foot.

And then the elephant began to tremble himself, for he saw that the little daisy was growing on the edge of a cliff. The elephant realized that if he had not responded to the shrieks of the daisy, he would have plunged over the cliff to his death on the jagged rocks below.

Moral: Responding to the terror of others can sometimes help us save our own lives.

Today, I’ll find a way to lessen the pain or sorrow of at least one human being…not from pity, but as a gift I give to my own humanity.


*The Dear Soul/Dear Life dialogs by J.M. Hawkins are adapted and used by permission. They are excerpted from his collection, Word From Soul City and were used in discussion groups across America in response to the Life That Loves to Happen seminars with Landon Saunders.