Eye-Opening Moments Podcast

No Compassion (and more)

June 25, 2024 Emily Kay Tan Episode 126
No Compassion (and more)
Eye-Opening Moments Podcast
More Info
Eye-Opening Moments Podcast
No Compassion (and more)
Jun 25, 2024 Episode 126
Emily Kay Tan

Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. In this episode you will hear about No Compassion and Penny-Pinching Fun.


Website: https://inspiremereads.com
Books: https://amazon.com/author/emily-kay-tan.2021_

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Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. In this episode you will hear about No Compassion and Penny-Pinching Fun.


Website: https://inspiremereads.com
Books: https://amazon.com/author/emily-kay-tan.2021_

Support the Show.



Comments or questions welcomed:
Twitter @emilykaytan OR https://inspiremereads.com.
Subscriptions appreciated: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1919670/support

Hello and welcome to episode #126 of Eye-Opening Moments where you’ll hear stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. They are moments that can lift your spirits, give you some food for thought, or move you. For the introspective mind that likes to reflect, discover, and find solutions or meaning in a complex life, this is for you. I’m your host Emily Kay Tan. In this episode, you will hear about No Compassion and Penny-Pinching Fun.

No Compassion
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion,” said the Dalai Lama. His statement gave me some food for thought. I want to be happy and make others happy, too, but I found myself very stingy regarding compassion. I blamed it on my mother, who didn’t have an ounce of love or care for me from the day I was born. I felt left to fend for myself when she sent me away at five. I was angry and determined to fight back. No one seemed to have any compassion for me, and that was the beginning of me having no sympathy or empathy for others. I stood tall as if I could care for myself; I learned to be independent early on and maintained my stance. Even as I became aware of this weakness of mine, I couldn’t find a way to change. My attitude was that if I had to take care of myself with little to no help from others, I expected others to take care of themselves without support. It wasn’t until I met a woman bubbling over with compassion, a job in management, and a trip to Bhutan that I began to change my stance.

After losing my house, boyfriend, and business during the global economic crisis in 2008, I hit rock bottom. My solution was to escape to another country to begin anew. It was an enormous risk as I had never lived in another country, but I had to believe it couldn’t be worse than my situation. Worried and anxious, I stepped forward to get on the airplane to another continent. I didn’t know what my new life would look like, but I went anyway.

To my surprise, a bubbly woman full of warmth and smiles welcomed me and said, “I’ve been waiting for you.” It was my new boss. I had secured the job before arrival, so she expected me. Her excitement to see me was puzzling to me. She treated me as if I were her long-lost relative, but I was not. She said, “Just consider me your friend.” I didn’t even know her, and she wanted me to call her my friend. It was all surreal, and I was in the bubble for years. I called being in the bubble like being on a honeymoon. My boss showered me with hugs, gifts, and treats. I even got a trip out of the country, all paid for except the plane ticket. I couldn’t ask for a kinder boss. 

What struck me most about her was her compassion for others. When someone did something wrong, sometimes even seriously wrong, she would forgive. I found many things unforgivable, but she repeatedly forgave others for their mistakes. She was the most forgiving person I had ever met. Maybe I noticed this about her because I was not the most forgiving person; I held many grudges and found it difficult to forgive others who wronged me. Whenever I saw her, I would remind myself to be more like her and have a heart for others.

Several years later, I went to Bhutan in search of happiness because I heard it was the land of happiness. What I found was peace, compassion, and joy. Seventy percent of the land was in nature. Surrounded by the natural scenery, clarity surfaced for me, and I experienced being in a state of peace like never before. The goodness enjoyed by the Bhutanese was like none other. Their genuine kindness with no ulterior motives was refreshing. For me, they were the perfect example of compassion. Everything was about helping others or being of service to others. Their world was about community; it was not about individual or selfish needs. The world I lived in was about competition and fighting for your rights and needs. I was not used to a community or thinking about others first. 

Enjoying weeks of kindness, community, and nature, I began thinking more about my contribution to others. What could I give to others? I found joy in receiving all the positives and began to want to give to others. My past acts of kindness were out of reciprocity or people I held dear to me. They were not altogether selfless acts of compassion. Bhutan became the most memorable place for me because of its people. I learned to be more at peace. I learned to be kinder and more compassionate. Whenever I hear their music, I return to a place of ultimate peace and joy.

Despite the presence of a bubbly woman full of compassion and the existence of the kingdom of happiness in me, I find myself in need of practicing more compassion. I can still hear the Dalai Lama’s words about joy and kindness. Luckily, I got a job that allowed me to practice it.

Whenever I show sympathy to the new arrivals in the country I now live in, I feel myself giving them the comfort they need. Every time I assist someone in finding a new home in this foreign country, I know I am showing compassion for others. Each time I make a job offer, I know I am fulfilling a fundamental need to make a living. Whenever I translate for someone, I know I am alleviating some barriers. When I explain cultural differences and help bridge the gap between two cultures, I realize the change in perspective that I can give can make all the difference in easing the difficulties of being in a foreign country.

Though the job has many challenges, the people I meet challenge me to practice being of service and demonstrate more sympathy and empathy. Because of the job, I have the opportunity to practice compassion daily. Now, that little girl in me who had no compassion has more of it to give. The Dalai Lama was right; the more you give compassion, the happier you are and the happier you make others.

Penny-Pinching Fun
I hated growing up in a poor household. I only got money when it was my birthday or New Year's Day, and they both only came around once a year. With little money, I could not buy much of what I wanted. It was disheartening not to get what I wanted. It was like my heart popping out and wishing to obtain what I wanted, but then I would need to pull it back inside because I could not get what I wanted. The cash I got from relatives was carefully counted and saved. Though counting my money to ensure I had enough to buy what I wanted became a habit, it annoyed me that I had to do it. It irritated me that it was my way of life, like it was a constant reminder that I was poor. But one day, after watching many tiny home videos at my mature age, I discovered that my penny-pinching practice lent itself to valuable life skills and could be fun!  

My grandma worked hard as a seamstress for little pay. Despite her low income, she always had the money for everyone's birthday, and seven people were in the family (not counting her). By her example, Grandma taught me to save money, and I kept watching my budget well into middle age. Sometimes, it felt tiresome. Many times, it was a reminder of when I didn't have much, and it seemed to be more times than I wanted.

I didn't have money to go to college, but I found a way to get some through government programs and scholarships. The college financial advisor told me to record and track my expenses. It was yet another task I had to do and remind myself to do. Friends would see me write down in my notepad the amount I spent out shopping or spending money with them. It was embarrassing, but I needed to do it. I later learned that it saved me countless times and helped me save. The numbers I saw before my eyes compelled me to spend less than I had earned. No doubt, budgeting was part of my survival skills.

Used to managing my budget since I was seventeen, recording expenses was a habit. Though it was an excellent habit, I still hated doing it because it constantly reminded me that I was not rich enough to ignore price tags. It reminded me of what I can and cannot have.

Peddling along in keeping a budget, I knew its value and continued doing it even though I hated it. It was necessary to help me survive, stay afloat, or avoid the danger of bankruptcy.

One day, when I clicked on a video of tiny homes, I got hooked on watching it. I couldn't stop watching the videos for months on end. I asked myself, why am I watching them? I did not plan to buy or build a tiny home, so why did I keep watching the videos? It was baffling to me that I was even interested. I thought some more and concluded that it was not my reality. My apartment was bigger than a tiny home; I could afford it and enjoyed a comfortable life there; I didn't need a little house. Maybe I could buy and live in a tiny home when I retire. If anything, I could call it a Plan B option. 

For now, I still need to work and cannot just plop a tiny home near my workplace. Since it is not of consideration at the moment, why am I still watching those tiny home videos? A curious thought overcame me as to why I found it of great interest. Suddenly, I saw a correlation between penny-pinching all my life and the many tiny houses I saw!

Since I have a limited amount of money, I cannot always buy birthday presents for others. So, I get creative and make things that are more valuable than store-bought items. Since I didn't have a lot of clothes, I mixed and matched them with different accessories to make them look different. The lack of money forced me to pull out creative skills I didn't know I had.

Unbeknownst to me, the creative skills I mustered to find and practice as a "poor" person helped me overcome many challenges. Creativity helped me solve many problems, which is a valuable life skill. Though grateful for having creativity in my arsenal, I secretly hated it because it reminded me that I kept having one problem after another.

Surprisingly, after watching the tiny home videos, I stopped hating having to use my creativity or being forced to use my brain! You see, tiny homes have limited space, so people have to devise many creative ways to store all their belongings. With limited space, they also needed multi-use furniture.

Seeing drawers or closets under the staircase looked ingenious to me. It was efficient use of space, and I enjoy looking for doing anything more efficiently. Seeing a breakfast table or desk that opened from the wall seemed so cool to me. How you can efficiently use space in a tiny home is fascinating. The more I watched the tiny home videos, the more my creative juices flowed to see the fun in designing good use of space.

Unexpectedly, I shifted from hating to thinking hard to find creative solutions to problems to loving to find ideas or ways to make things work more efficiently. It is such a great life skill to have! Who could have guessed that watching tiny home videos could change my perception of creativity? I often felt it to be hard work, but now I see it as fun work!

Whether you have limited money or space, they require creative skills to make things work. Using your creativity helps you find solutions to problems and is a powerful tool for life!

Key Takeaways: Though I had no compassion early on, my trip to Bhutan, a few encounters, and a job have inspired me to practice compassion with joy.

Though I hated needing to penny-pinch, I discovered creativity and fun in penny-pinching.

Next week, you will hear about two real-life stories called Walking Down the Aisle and The Power of a Dream. If you enjoyed this episode of Eye-Opening Moments, please share it with others, support the show by clicking on the link in the description, or go to www.inspiremereads.com and leave a message. Thank you for listening!

 

 

Introduction
No Compassion
Penny-Pinching Fun
Key Takeaways