Compassion – the opposite of compassion is judgement, anger and frustration.
The Dalai Lama summarises why we should be compassionate so simply and perfectly “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Compassion is our ability to walk in another’s shoes. We enter every situation with understanding and empathy.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion”
In the same way that we are creating a reality for ourselves through our projected thoughts, so is everyone else. We are all seeking the same thing; fulfilment. How others individually go about that is none of our business. An understanding though that everyone is doing the best they can with the life circumstances, education and tools available to them is absolutely key to living a high-grade life.
“We are all seeking the same thing; fulfilment. How others individually go about that is none of our business.”
Compassion is kindness without an agenda. It’s when generous behaviour is afforded without any return expected. Compassion if far more than being nice to someone – that should be a part of our make-up regardless. Compassion is deeper than niceties, being polite and trying to understand.
Compassion is about not needing to understand, and simply being available, open and expansive to another human, no matter what. It is about listening without thinking of your answer. It’s about being truly present.
It is empathy in action. Empathy is where we can understand what it must be like to be in that person’s shoes. Compassion is empathy without any strings attached. It is forgiveness, being gentle, and being strong.
‘Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busybody, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil. But I, who have seen the nature of the good that is beautiful, and of the bad that is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong, that it is akin to me; not (only) of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in (the same) intelligence and the (same) portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him’ – Marcus Aurelius
Jacqui Lewis is co-founder of The Broad Place – a thoughtful modern approach to conscious living.
Header image: NPR.org