I once complained of having no shoes...
Until I met the man with no legs.
For years I searched for Ultimate happiness. I had once been a member of a successful musical act, touring, recording, television appearances and radio interviews. I continued on in other groups with varying degrees of success for a number of years, and when suddenly it all ended, I had no idea how to deal with it.
I suffered for many years with depression, searching always for a way to regain my equilibrium; I thought that if I were back on tour, in the studio, or in any way active in the music business, that I would find happiness. I did not seek medical help with my depression because medication is often addictive and can cause greater problems later.
Everyone I know asked, "What do you have to be depressed about?" My response was that it isn't a choice. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. If a baker adds the right ingredients to a cake, but in the wrong quantities, that cake will not turn out right. Depression is really that simple. My ingredients were all there but the quantities were wrong.
In time, through self-examination, Meditation, a couple of eye-opening events, and the love of dear friends and a very patient woman, I regained my equilibrium.
While depression is an imbalance, it can have triggers. In my case it was caused by job losses, but the loss of a relationship, an automobile accident, dropping out of University; any stimuli can bring it on.
Last night I read the story of a young woman who suffered great loss. I will not repeat the details here out of respect for her privacy and the nature of her suffering. I will say that she is one of the dear friends who showed me amazing love, tolerance and compassion through my depression, and I had no idea she was suffering so.
How can someone give so much to another and when in need, not ask to be consoled? How can one not turn to someone and ask for help after giving them help in the past? The answer to that is simply one word; Compassion.
Compassion can be described by a dictionary as, "A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering." It is better described by the example of those who exemplify it: Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Ghandi, and so on.
And one special, compassionate young woman in my life who means a great deal to me.
Today, and every day, if you see suffering in someone, show compassion. A simple act of kindness such as opening a door for someone or simply offering a smile can make a world of difference to that person and give him/her hope when all hope seems lost.