We did this as a congregation in 2021 and I'm doing it myself this year. My life feels different now than it did 365 days ago, and I hope this will keep me grounded and help me live my faith.
Inspiring Compassion: The 30 Day Compassion Challenge. 30 days to explore the topic of compassion: Mindfulness, Compassion for Friends & Family, Self-Compassion, Compassion for All, Compassion for Our Planet.
I guess today would be Compassion for Friends & Family, though Aisha and I have never really been friends. In a way, it's also Self-Compassion, because it gives me something productive to do with my anger. Let me explain ...
Aisha is a project manager. She was added to our team at work a year ago, when the agency/client relationship was still good (meaning, before agency management completely fucked it up). Her job was to help keep all of our schedules straight so we could meet our deadlines. She was OK. She certainly tried hard. Every morning she sent out a "hot sheet" listing our daily deliverables and she closed it with a "Today in History" trivia tidbit. I appreciated the latter. Most of us were too self-involved to read the whole "hot sheet," we only checked our portion, and probably didn't even see her "Today in History," but I loved that little bit of extra effort.
Anyway, due to colossal mismanagement on our boss' part, we lost the client and Aisha lost her job. Because she'd been with us just 11 months, she only got one week of severance. While we were comparing our travails with unemployment from the State of Illinois, she casually mentioned that the food stamp application process was easier.
FOOD STAMPS? Upper management screws up and now Aisha has to depend on food stamps? That is so massively unfair. They have no accountability, she has no money. I cannot begin to articulate how mad this makes me.
So I tried to refocus. Instead of thinking of management, I thought of Aisha. I offered to be her reference when she starts interviewing. I left her a recommendation on LinkedIn. I told her to call on me any time.
I also realize, and am grateful, for how lucky I am. I will be receiving severance for 4 months. I qualify for unemployment and then, if I choose, I can collect Social Security. I have a 401(k). I'll be OK, for a while at least. I can afford to relax, concentrate on getting better, and take stock of my future and my options. Aisha doesn't have those advantages. My energy is better spent supporting her, not railing against the management that doesn't have any relevance to my life anymore.