Sometimes, when I'm at the library, a young man comes in. I find the grunting sounds he makes really irritating. I wouldn't mind so much if it was a cough or a sneeze as sometimes people can't help those. There are times when I have coughing fits. I felt there was no need for this man to be making those grunting sounds. Several of us have brought it to his attention but to no avail. Once when he sat next to me, I was so repulsed by his grunting that his computer stopped working and he moved to sit somewhere else.
The last time he was in, I listened to music so I wouldn't hear his grunts. Another user who was trying to be diplomatic offered him some tissue to blow his nose, but he didn't use it. I put out an intention for him to stop coming to the library, at least not when I am there. :-)
When I arrived at the library he was already there. Even though I was sitting as far away from him as I possibly could, I could still hear his grunts. Finally, I asked him if he was aware of the noises he was making and how irritating it was to me and other users. He said yes. I asked him if there was anything he could do to stop the noise but he shook his head.
Then something extraordinary happened. As I was speaking to him and he was looking at me, I felt waves and waves of love for him, which I can only describe as compassion. I felt like all he needed was for me to love him. After that he stopped grunting. I don't think I would have been bothered if he still was.
Later, I told my friend that I didn't mean to have a go at him. I wished him all the best. I even asked him his name which he told me. I told him my name.
Before I left I smiled at him and said goodbye and he smiled and waved back at me.
Thank you, friend, for bringing out Compassion in me.
(c) E Joseph