“Compassion can be roughly defined in terms of a state of mind that is non-violent, non-harming and non-aggressive. It is a mental attitude based on the wish for others to be free of their suffering and is associated with a sense of commitment, responsibility and respect towards others.
In discussing the definition of compassion, the Tibetan word tse-wa, there is also a sense to the word of its being a state of mind that can include a wish for good things for oneself. In developing compassion, perhaps one could begin with the wish that oneself be free of suffering, and then take that natural feeling towards oneself and cultivate it, enhance it, and extend it out to include and embrace others.” The 14th Dali Lama
This quote really hit home. I define suffering as being unhappy, afraid, dissatisfied or miserable. Looking at the current state of the world it’s easy to go there. There is so much “evidence” that can cause one to bypass compassion and move right into judgment… greedy banks, misguided politicians, ego driven assertions and rude people.
Here is where the power of choice and the wisdom that comes with being an Amazing Gray comes in. I realize there is little I can do to change things “out there” – so why not turn inward and, as the song says, “let peace begin with me.” Are there areas of MY life where I am greedy, misguided, ego-driven and rude? For sure. You?
Having compassion for the parts of us that are suffering and embracing the totality of human experience is a necessary first step to cultivating that sentiment so we can own it for ourselves, enhance it and extend it out to include and embrace “others”. (and yes, I put that word in quotes for a reason.) Be kinder to yourself than you think you should be.