Have you ever felt that you were too sensitive, too strange, too delicate, and too emotional? I have! I have not only felt this way at times, I have also been labeled this by others. However, what might appear to be a weakness to some people is in my opinion a strength. I believe that all artists are highly sensitive people and possibly that is why we feel ‘different’ at times.
Today in class I read to you the words that Vincent Van Gogh wrote about himself; “I am too sensitive for this world.” I love those words. So many of you identified with those words. I tried to comfort you by telling you that it is natural to feel that way, most artists are sensitive.
After you guys left the room, I asked myself; is it bad to be too sensitive? As I pondered the answer to that question, I thought back to a day last year when I was jogging in NYC. I jogged past a homeless man who was sitting on a bench tending to a very large open wound on his leg. The wound was bleeding and oozing. I saw maggots crawling on his legs! My heart ached for him and I felt great compassion for his situation.
I stopped running and I walked over to him and asked if he needed help. He was rude and offensive to me telling me to leave him alone and to ‘mind my own business’. At that moment, I had a choice to make; I could simply walk away, or I could be guided by my heart and try to help. So I did what I thought was the right thing to do, I called an ambulance, and then I stood off in the distance and waited for the paramedics to arrive.
While I waited, I watch many people look over at him, see the condition that he was in and then simply keep on walking or running. At least 30 people walked by and not one of them asked him if he was OK; they never acknowledged his presence. I was so disturbed by the lack of compassion that I was witnessing, that my eyes welled up with tears.
Close by was a dog park with lots of people playing and interacting with their dogs, some of those people in the dog park were the same people who walked by and ignore the injured man. How could they show love and compassion to an animal and yet let another human sit and suffer without asking him if he needed help?
Yes, he was dirty, obviously poor, possibly crazy but he was a man…a person worthy of compassion. Soon the paramedics arrived and the man received medical attention. I never found out what happened to him, but the point of the story here is; why did I care and everyone else there that day just walked by?
To some people, my sensitivity and compassion may appear as a weakness, but to me I am proud that I am connected to my world and to the people around me. Most artists are. Compassionate people are able to see the effort beneath the occasional failure, the intention beneath the mistake. They easily forgive others because they know that to be human is to be flawed. They treat others as they would like to be treated; with compassion. They make great teachers, LOL!
So, if you feel that you are too nice, too sweet, too sensitive or too compassionate…STOP! The world needs more people like you! Stop listening to people when they criticize your sensitivity because I say; “Lucky indeed is the person who is loved by those with compassion.” Good night tigers, Ms. B.
“They love the best who love with compassion.” –Ellen Anne Hill