My Word for today is #compassion
"The cultivation of compassion is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, if our species is to survive.” – The Dalai Lama
In my view, compassion is a multi-dimensional concept and so, I am going to be dwelling more on self- compassion. This is because I believe that self-compassion is the mother-lode of the different types of compassion.
Compassion is the one concept that I believe is capable of being both selfish and selfless at the same time. Let me illustrate my point by a Nigerian (Yoruba) proverb "If you and your child are caught in a fire, you must save yourself first".
You save yourself first (selfish) in order that you might save your child (selfless) for if you do not first save yourself, you might be endangering the life of your child, who is perhaps incapable of saving himself.
When we speak of compassion, we tend to look at the religiosity of it, but compassion just Dalai Lama said is not a luxury. It is a compulsory component for not just us as human beings, but also for plants, animals and the environment.
I am pretty sure you have heard that plants when sung to, thrive even in less than ideal circumstances.
Without compassion for each other, we will each die miserable deaths.
Immediately @ethicaleader sent "compassion" as today's topic, the first thing that came to my mind was the song "we are the world" sung by Micheal Jackson, Diana Ross, Kenny Rogers et al.
In my considered view, this entire song speaks about being compassionate, being kind and lending a hand. Because we are indeed the World, and only together, can we heal our world.
Everything in life teaches us self compassion but we tend to shy away from being compassionate with ourselves because we have been told that self-love can be narcissistic, however, we can never pour from an empty cup.
Some also believe, albeit erroneously, that compassion makes you weak, and this cannot be farthest from being the truth as being compassionate is being aware of the needs of others, but in such a way that you can carry on with your life whilst being helpful to others.
Part of being compassionate is having an understanding of what motivates people. There is no way to do this, of course, unless you understand what motivates you.
Self-compassion differs from self-preservation though they have many things in common, the latter, however, is closer to the selfish spectrum because self -preservation may mean doing anything to help ourselves, no matter whose ox is gored.
But how does one show compassion to a person who has done you dirty?
It is easy to claim to be compassionate, and I do like to believe that many of us are imbued with that milk of human kindness. For some of us, it is stirred up by the compassionate acts we see people do (some of us have to learn as it may not come naturally), however, sometimes you just want to repay unkindness with unkindness.
It can actually be difficult to show compassion when you have been hurt, and I think it is due to human nature, we are imperfect, and when someone hurts us (a majority of us) we just want to stomp on that person so he/she can feel as hurt as we were. So it is down to bruised pride/Ego.
The feeling of hurt may stem also from the agelong saying that "to whom much is given, more is expected".
Perhaps one way of getting past that is to lose our ego whilst simultaneously finding our compassion.
If we repay unkindness with unkindness, we create a very vicious circle, particularly when the person who did us dirty continues to do so...
Honestly, being compassionate to those set of persons becomes near impossible, it is why in Africa, some people become witches. 😄😄😄
They just want to cause that person misery... but we know how that goes!!! You will lose your soul.
It is a known fact that it is not only people who receive compassion, that benefit from those acts, the giver is also rewarded by the release of some endorphins and a feel-good Factor, now isn't this, in fact, a win-win situation?
My Husband, who is also a Lawyer recently got judgment in a pro-bono drug related matter, i remember him saying that the joy he got from the appreciation of the Defendant's father surpassed any professional fees that could have been paid.
Even whilst grappling with COVID-19 and its attendant troubles, we are reminded daily that compassion is the one thing that binds us together and really, it is one currency that the world cannot, but spend.
Let me end this piece buy a quote from Russell Simmons "compassion is the ultimate expression of your highest self".
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