Listen Carefully

If you are the one offering assistance or advice it is very important that you never make assumptions about your brother or sister in need or about situations which you have limited information. We are taught the importance of always practising tolerance, compassion and understanding in every single situation we come across and we must do this without prejudging the individual. Always try to learn as much as possible about the issues your brother or sister is dealing with. Exhibit true compassion. Listen carefully to what your brother or sister has to say. Try to put yourself in their place and ask yourself how you personally would deal with the situation if you were on the other side.” — Teaching of Mar Mani Khaila 1:11-13

Some of our brethren in various parts of the world endure very real, and unpleasant hardships such as homelessness, lack of necessary medications, persecution from those who involved with ideologies connected with the kingdom of darkness, and so on.

Many times we hear some individuals in the world complain about individuals who are poor, or on government assistance programs. Often those complaining will claim that the poor are simply lazy and do not wish to work for a living. While this may be the case in many situations, especially within societies where work ethics are more lax than others, it is not the situation for all who find themselves poor or homeless.

When we see a brother or sister who might live in sub-standard housing or holes in their clothing and shoes, or come to know of someone who is receiving government assistance, we should not be quick in jumping to conclusions about how they came to be in that situation. Mar Mani Khaila teaches us not to be “prejudging the individual.” He admonishes us to “exhibit true compassion” and to “listen carefully” to our dear brothers and sisters so that we can understand their situation, and provide assistance where necessary, according to our means.

JBS

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