If you have been in my office, you have probably seen the statue of Quan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and Mercy. She sits at the top of my tall bookshelf. It might seem surprising that a finance professional would have a religious statue in her office, but I need a daily reminder of compassion.

Not all my clients come to see me for a loan or refinance, many come to see me for coaching and financial guidance. Some of these clients have money problems and often become very emotional in my office. People divorce over money issues, they are anxious and angry because they can’t pay their medical bills or afford to care for an aging parent, they’re scared because they don’t have enough saved for retirement.

There’s a lot of shame and guilt around money as well.

Even the professionals I work with in escrow, title, realty, appraisals, etc.… are often under stress to meet deadlines and make their clients dreams come true, and sometimes that stress translates into thoughtless words and actions, so compassion has been a theme in my life for a long time.

When someone acts out, I remind myself that I don’t know what’s causing them to behave that way, I don’t know what’s going on in their personal lives, I haven’t walked a mile in their shoes. I do my best to react with strength, understanding, and compassion.

Have a compassionate week:

“Our lack of forgiveness makes us hate, and our lack of compassion makes us hard-hearted. Pride in our hearts makes us resentful and keeps our memory in a constant whirlwind of passion and self-pity.” – Mother Angelica

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” – Rumi

“It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people yourself is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral, self-righteous, bullying laziness.” – Penn Jillette

“Misery is, by her own nature, a passing phase of sorrow, one that does not linger uninvited. Her sojourns seem to be part of life’s required curriculum, perhaps because Misery endows us with compassion and empathy.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach