“It is lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion toward others.
If we make friends with ourselves,
then there is no obstacle to opening our hearts and minds to others.”
Compassion is a skill that is both learnable and teachable. And while some people are born with an amazing sense of compassion, others learn to cultivate it over time.
More than anything, compassion is an internal feeling of self-love that extends itself out into the world as self-acceptance and the acceptance of others.
To cultivate compassion, we must be willing to allow people to be the person they need or want to be, even when that may go against our own world view or life perspective.
This weekend, I watched a documentary from Something to Talk About, called The Last White Knight. It showcased a man from the KKK. Everything about what this man believes in is against my own set of beliefs, yet as the show progressed, it was interesting to see how I didn’t hate him, but had compassion for him. I felt sad that he harbored so much hate and since of segregation.
People have a belief that if someone is different from them, that means the other person is bad or wrong. When we have compassion we are able to objectively see people for their humanness and not allow our differences to separate us.
In any situation, remember that person could see YOU as someone to be feared or loathed.
If we can remember our sameness, our humanness and allow people to have different thoughts, feelings and beliefs that we do, we can cultivate a greater sense of compassion for all people and living beings.
“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.” – Thomas Merton