“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” [Dalai Lama]

Compassion is the ultimate and most meaningful embodiment of emotional maturity, and it is seriously lacking in society.  Why?  It’s a lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion toward others.  If we make friends with ourselves, there’s no obstacle to opening our hearts and minds to others.  There are no prerequisites for being compassionate, and you should probably look into it ASAP.  The Dalai Lama wants you to know that “compassion is not religous business, it is human business; it is not a luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability; it is essential for human survival.”  This sentiment is echoed in Thomas Merton’s thoughts that “the whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.”

 

The Chater for Compassion would like us all to take more interest in demonstrating this virtue both for others and for ourselves.  After all, “compassion will cure more sins than condemnation,” according to Henry Ward Beecher.

However, Pema Chodron acknowledges that “compassionate action involves working with ourselves as much as working with others.”  It is not always easy to feel compassionate.  Cultivating compassion is a sometimes difficult process, although it is rewarding.  You can begin by learning how to listen.  Also remember that “if we would see others as they see themselves, our shyness would soon become compassion.” (Robert Brault)  It’s not easy, but it’s vastly rewarding.  It can help to redeem society, and it can help to redeem us.

 

Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us.
Eric Hoffer

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