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Imagine It Is Heaven!

When Darla Dollman wrote a short post as part of The Writers’ Post Blog Hop, she raised a great question: How do you show compassion?

This made me recall one of Alan Cohen’s stories (yes, yes, I do love the man!)  in his book Deep Breath of Life. He talks about the time he was waiting for a friend to pick him up at the airport. The friend was delayed, so Alan decided to amuse himself with a game of imagining that the airport was heaven! People coming off the airplanes, stepping into ‘paradise’ and being met and greeted warmly by friends and relatives, porters were assisting passengers coming in with their luggage and helping them settle into heaven! Alan enjoyed the game so much he didn’t realize that an hour went by. When his friend arrived, he asked her to join in the game. So when a stranger walked up to them and asked them to mind his bags while he made a phone call, Alan and his friend were happy to oblige – after all they were in heaven and had no better place to go!

Alan writes: “Because we were at peace, we were in a perfect position to serve, and we brought this world closer to heaven.”

To me that’s a perfect statement to describe compassion – reaching out to serve another and bringing them closer to a place of peace via our words, actions and service.

When my father retired from the Army, he was asked by an old friend to take up a job in a Leprosy Rehabilitation Home. In India, leprosy patients are shunned and often  disowned by their families. My father is fastidious to a fault and was very reluctant to work in this area. This was mainly because he, like many of us, was not fully aware of just how Hansen’s Disease spreads. But once the friend took my parents around the Home he worked at, Dad decided to take on the job. It was always a wonder for me to watch him put his arms around disfigured and maimed patients. Compassion is what made the difference and in taking up the job he set us a fine example for us all.

When a friend would talk to young ‘urchins’ in trains and buses and try to find out more about why they were on their own, people would look at him strangely. But his compassion for these children moved him to set up a huge organization that takes children off the street and rehabilitates them – sometimes even reuniting them with their parents. My friend’s compassion has now made him one of the strong voices for Child Rights in India.


When I watch someone bring home cooked food to feed the stray dogs regularly, I see compassion in action. When I hear of a group of nuns called Mother Teresa’s Roses and their volunteers offer a place for the homeless to bathe and have a meal, I see compassion in action.

As I write this post, I want to work on my own compassion – it’s something I seem to have lost on the way – as I’ve grown self-protective and closed. Time to move out of myself again, to reach out and see the beyond the masks that people in pain sometimes put on – time for me to imagine it is heaven!

Thank you for this reminder, Darla.


  1. Melissa Melissa February 1, 2014

    What a beautiful post Corrine. It makes me want to go out right now and lift someone else up. Compassion carries so much opportunity to increase our own wellbeing. We should practice it more openly. Even a smile to someone you don’t know is helpful.

    Thanks so much!
    Melissa recently posted..Healing… Find The Joy in the Journey!My Profile

  2. Swapna Swapna February 1, 2014

    Compassion! If only we let this be our guiding principle for everything we do in our lives. The heaven game is now going to be played by me every time I am waiting. Thanks for the wonderful post Corinne!
    Swapna recently posted..A Free eGuide for Mompreneurs who want a Divalicious lifeMy Profile

  3. Suzy Suzy February 1, 2014

    Lovely post and thanks for sharing Alan Cohen’s story. What an awesome way of looking at the world. I’ll remember that story when irritation sets in. Your dad sounds wonderful.
    Suzy recently posted..My Earliest MemoryMy Profile

  4. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando February 1, 2014

    “. . . on earth as it is in Heaven . . .”
    Can we bring the world closer to realizing God’s kingdom? Yes, Corinne, and your post has just affirmed this. Jesus had compassion and told us that we must, too. What if we all acted upon this at every opportunity? What a wonderful world it would be!
    Love this post, dear friend!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Back Seat Driver – Part 2My Profile

  5. My Inner Chick My Inner Chick February 1, 2014

    ** reaching out to serve another and bringing them closer to a place of peace via our words, actions and service.**

    I have absolutely no doubt…..this is our purpose on this earth.
    My Inner Chick recently posted..Broken WingsMy Profile

  6. Elle Elle February 1, 2014

    What an uplifting and inspiring read Corinne. I love the idea of compassion being our watchword and how wonderful to see you dad take that leap of compassion. Beautiful.
    Elle recently posted..4 Simple Practices To Turn Your Life AroundMy Profile

  7. Sheethal Sheethal January 31, 2014

    Showing compassion, even with a Smile is a very big thing. A reminder to all. 🙂
    Sheethal recently posted..We Did It!My Profile

  8. Kathy Combs ( Kathy Combs ( January 31, 2014

    What a wonderful way to look at things! This is a great reminder to step outside of our own little world and dramas and have compassion for the other people around us. This is a beautiful post. ♥
    Kathy Combs ( recently posted..Blogging Challenges and PressureMy Profile

  9. Obsessivemom Obsessivemom January 31, 2014

    What a wonderful idea.. to think ‘this’ place is heaven. And how wonderfully it worked. The thing is well know what compassion is, we all know the right thing to do yet we forget it in the daily grind of our lives. Thanks for this reminder Corinne.

  10. Vidya Sury Vidya Sury January 31, 2014

    A life without compassion is ugly. I love what your Dad did. I was lucky, too, to be in a family full of compassionate people – people who would take the shirt off their back readily to keep someone warm.

    Thank you, Corinne. This is a beautiful post!
    Vidya Sury recently posted..Inspiring Stories of Faith. I Asked for Proof. I Got It.My Profile

  11. Rainbow Hues Rainbow Hues January 31, 2014

    This is wonderful…I liked the quote ‘Because we were at peace, we were in a perfect position to serve, and we brought this world closer to heaven’…so so true!
    Rainbow Hues recently posted..Adieu UBC- Till We Meet Again!My Profile

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