Whitley offers a discussion of compassion based around one of Anne Strieber’s most beloved poems, “The Death of the Hired Man” by Robert Frost. She thinks of the poem as one of the great texts about compassion, what it is, how it works, why it matters and, above all, how to live the kind of thoughtful, deeply compassionate life that is so essential to building a strong soul.


  1. Thank you. All we really have
    Thank you. All we really have is each other.

  2. Thank you, Whitley.
    Thank you, Whitley.

  3. Peace.

  4. How have we come to believe
    How have we come to believe that we must, or ever can, justify being through money or accomplishments or some sense of usefulness? In a way, those who seem most helpless are actually the most “useful,” because they reveal us to ourselves, for as you say, Whitley, “to be rich in spirit is to see yourself as you truly are.” I sometimes think those who cannot hope to justify their own being in these ways have the most difficult journeys of all.

    There are so many layers to this poem. The dichotomy of usefulness versus understanding or enjoyment is also nestled in Silas’ belief that learning to bale hay is more important than studying Latin. Could Frost have foreseen how education has today, at least in North America, been supplanted by vocational training? Ironically, that training would toss out Silas’ other useful trick – “finding water with a hazel prong” – as mere superstition.

    Thank you for elucidating this poem so beautifully!

  5. Wow. I needed this, thank you
    Wow. I needed this, thank you so much.

  6. Compassion-an ancient
    Compassion-an ancient blueprint coding of the Soul

  7. Thank you, Whitley. As a new
    Thank you, Whitley. As a new subscriber, I tried and failed several times to stream this podcast.. My heart must have known how desperately I needed this teaching, because I kept trying… Just as I’ve kept trying to manifest compassion. We all have the capacity! But when we’re put to the test – and often it’s a hard test – ego hardens our hearts and a teachable moment passes. Your discourse brought me to tears ..:not of guilt or self condemnation but of true remorse. I’m reminded of Christ’s prayer when he was on the cross looking down at the multitudes who had come to mock him or just to see the spectacle of another crucifixion: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Thanks to you, Anne, and Robert Frost, now I know a little more.

  8. Thank you, Anne, and Whitley,
    Thank you, Anne, and Whitley, compassion, and love,
    I heard though Dannion Brinkley that small acts of kindness are very important,

  9. What an astonishing
    What an astonishing coincidence (although I know there are no coincidences), that this poem has been on my mind for weeks now. Many years have passed since I first read this poem in the 8th grade, and I haven’t thought much about it since then. But lately, due to events among my friends brought on by the last election, my mind has been full of it. I was considering looking up a copy, but couldn’t remember what the actual title was. Thank you so much for this. You have provided me with some much needed validation and support.

  10. So thankful for this. The
    So thankful for this. The richness of the poem and your telling of it lingering in my soul after a first listen a couple days ago.

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