Balancing Compassion & Respect Can Be An Unbelievably Interesting Tightrope Act

With one land purchase, the woman we were going to buy the property from wanted a house. She would move from her land onto a spot with one of her children. Some of her children got involved and supposedly were building the home for her with the funds when, in reality, they were not. Those children took loans against her deposit because one daughter ensured she was a co-signator on the account. These children didn’t repay their loans or build their mother a house. They squandered the funds because the bank took the collateral, so the woman had nowhere to go. She continued to live in the home on our land until the place was ready to fall.

It wasn’t easy to allow it to unfold as it did, but the same thing could have happened anywhere. A person makes a deal and then relies upon another to help them with their funds. The third person turns out to be untrustworthy, and the seller ends up without the “thing” they were trying to acquire with the proceeds from the sale.

As a buyer, we were in no position to affect the situation’s outcome. As compassionate people, we allowed her to live as she had been doing for an extended period. We didn’t evict her even though she had sold her rights to us. We gave her and her family time to develop a plan. She stayed on far after we had finished paying for the land. Yet, once the time came to either move or somehow build a new home at her current spot, we had to remind her and her family of the boundary we had all agreed upon. She sold us the land. We had paid for it and allowed her to continue living when she had a problem. She was not permitted to build anew on land we purchased because her children had stolen from her. We fulfilled our part of the transaction and allowed her to stay beyond the agreed upon timeframe. It was time for her to find a new home.

Because we had both respect and compassion, we allowed the situation to go past what most purchasers would. According to Albert Schweitzer, “Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.” Our attorney was concerned about her failure to depart once we had finished paying. Since we were her neighbors, we were not as worried as the attorney. Yet, we knew we could not afford to purchase it a second time from a third party, so we had to stay close to the transaction parameters. Balancing compassion and respect can be a tightrope at times.