Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to take my 16-year-old son, Tyler, to see His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama give a live speech at a local university.

The very fact that we had the honor of being in the presence of someone who is such an embodiment of compassion was not only humbling, but also very inspiring… as you’ll see.

The Dalai Lama, although a rock star by most spiritual standards, seems to be one of the most down to earth people on the planet. He was warm, approachable and very funny throughout his presentation, even laughing at his own jokes at times.

Although Tyler admittedly had a difficult time understanding some of what the Dalai Lama was saying (his accent is very thick and his English is sometimes broken), apparently the message got through in a big way.

Among the simple truths and spiritual wisdom offered by His Holiness yesterday was the idea that compassion should be the foundation of all of our human interactions. Because despite our vast outward differences, we’re all basically the same on the inside; we’re all just human beings.

But, as the Dalai Lama pointed out, sometimes fear, anger, trepidation and a whole host of other negative emotions can stand in the way of compassionate interaction between human beings. The biggest danger we face in life, he cautioned, is loosing compassion for one another.

It sounds simple, and it is; very simple in fact. But not always easy. Sometimes, life clouds our perception and muddies the waters of compassion.

As honored as I was to hear first hand the spiritual messages and concepts passed along by this beautiful spiritual icon, today I must admit that I had an even bigger experience. Today I saw the art of compassion in action.

You see, my son Tyler had a doctor's appointment this morning and, as we sat in the lobby of the office waiting for his name to be called, a strange man approached us.

The unshaven man in the dirty, tattered shirt was obviously down on his luck and most likely homeless. He wore a hospital ID bracelet on his right wrist and walked with a slight limp.

When he walked up to us, holding hospital discharge papers in his shaking hands, he explained that he was a veteran and he’d just been released from Good Samaritan Hospital after being robbed and stabbed in the leg. A fresh wound on his calf lent credibility to his story.

He said he’d been walking for hours
and he just needed bus fare, and could we help? Sadly, I’m not in the habit of carrying cash on me, so when I looked the man in his sad, distant eyes and told him that I didn’t have any money, I was being completely honest.

The man gave a resigned nod and began to walk away. Just then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my son stand up, reach into his pocket and produce a $5 bill.

Without hesitation, Tyler walked up to the man, tapped him on his shoulder and said, “Excuse me sir, here you go. I hope this helps,” and then quietly sat back down beside me.

Right about this time, the clinic staff discovered the man and asked him to leave. Obviously used to this type of reaction from folks, the man said simply, “Okay, thanks to this young man I can go catch my bus now.”

Tyler didn’t say a word, he just looked up and nodded as the man made his way out the door amongst the suspicious and frightened glares of the staff and other patients.

My eyes filled with tears because in that moment I knew that where others saw some weird, scary homeless guy whose experience was worlds away from their own, my son saw only another human being.

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Author's Bio: 

Michele McGrew is the founder of Wake Up Goddess LLC, a spirit-based business dedicated to helping women find their path to passion and purpose when their souls are suffocating in the corridors of blue suits and glass ceilings.

Michele is a metaphysical minister and Pagan High Priestess who is passionate about helping women rescue their spirits and wake up their own inner Goddess to the claim their right to power and joy within the workplace and the world.

Michele hosts workshops and teaches private classes on a variety of topics including past life regression, intuitive tarot reading, chakra balancing, connecting with your Spirit Guides and working with the archetypal energies of the ancient Gods and Goddess for the creation of a more harmonious life.

To learn more about Michele, her programs, products and services, go to