So many other emotions and impulses can so easily become our “true north.”
I’ve always felt compassion is a noble aspiration. It brings together love and empathy.
It requires us to temper the pompousness of our hot takes with an understanding of who we really are – both us and the person on the other end of our actions and words.
It calls on us to see our flaws and our greatness and the same in the other person. It asks us to stand their shoes and see their perspective for a moment.
It puts to rest the idea that there’s one privileged way of seeing the world and opens us to the possibility there as many ways to see it as there are people.
Our consciousness encompasses the reality that our perspective is sacred, but no more so than someone else’s.
Despite the vast commonalities of the human experience – commonalities we can and must draw upon to solve many of our problems – compassion brings us to an undeniable truth.
It’s possible to be someone who works alone on a tractor all day on thousands of acres and has a life experience that leads to you to certain, very valid conclusions about life.
It’s equally possible to be someone who lives in a big city, rides the subway or sits in traffic, has people “on top” of you all day, and has a life experience that leads you to equally certain, equally valid conclusions about life.
Compassion is understanding that process and seeing those different roads as not a threat, but a natural outcome of different people and different experiences leading to different conclusions. It’s embracing that and being big enough to encompass it all without anger, judgment, or fear.
Compassion is an ultimate expression of the concept of freedom. It goes beyond an intellectual acceptance that there are different views in life and all the way to a deep understanding that it’s supposed to be that way and it’s OK.
It asks us to grant the same grace we seek from others. That grace? It’s the grace to be accepted for who we are, for where we are on our journey, and what our unique life experiences have taught us.
When we can grant that grace as readily as we expect it, that’s compassion. We will find no solutions to the difficulties in the world nor the difficulties in ourselves without its light shining within us.
Have a peaceful and prosperous day!