Practicing Compassion

The topic of a previous post was practicing compassion for children. Now consider the fact that we were all children at some stage before our journey of learning about the world around us. It is straightforward to deduce that all our understanding of everything lies on a continuous spectrum. Not only that we have grasped a few things and not realized a few others, but also what we know is only to a limited extent. Nobody has figured it all out.

For all the people in the world, it is like starting their individual journeys from different places and then going in different directions with occasional intersection of paths, as shown in the figure above. This serial pattern of growth implies that the person traveling on one path is bound to miss all the others. That is the reason why at times, we cannot understand how someone thinks or behaves in a manner completely alien to us. Furthermore, just like sometimes the weather is cloudy and rainy while sunny and hot at others, our emotions go up and down depending on many factors. Maybe we can forgive things said and done during low times as we expect forgiveness during ours.

Once this is understood, it becomes easy to be compassionate to others. It is very necessary for one’s own peace of mind. Otherwise, complaint and victim mentality hurts the person carrying them more than anyone else.

Another simple way to achieve the same purpose is to think of ourselves as biological machines which honestly do not know the kind of chemical reactions taking place inside their brains and consequently have lesser control over them than it looks from outside. Personally, this is the easiest technique that works for me.

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