Are you fed up of the ‘me’ generation?
Do want to do more for your fellow humans?
It takes a much bigger person to be compassionate and tolerant of others than to criticise and condemn people. It’s easy to look down on others, to be cynical and distrustful or to see others only in terms of what they can possibly give to you.
A truly compassionate person can rise above fears of ‘not wanting to be made a fool of’ because when we are truly compassionate we don’t treat others in ways that are worthy of them but in ways which are worthy of ourselves. You don’t have to treat a mean person meanly – you can learn to be unaffected by their behaviour and respond with compassion and understanding. (1)
The twentieth century was dubbed the ‘century’ of the self and we talk of the ‘me generation.’ We all need to cultivate ourselves and to learn and develop as human beings and part of developing the self is looking after others. It has been said to ‘truly help yourself you need to help others.’ This means developing compassion.
Doing regular charity work, for example, is good for your health and can lower mortality rate. And being too self-centred is bad for physical and mental health. It seems we weren’t meant to just think of ourselves but also to care for others.
Learn to see the humanity in others
Compassion means seeing the humanity in others, being sensitive towards them and actually doing things to help them. It means caring about others, prioritising relationships and being loving towards and generally interested in others.
Cultivating compassion means seeing people as individuals with needs and concerns and weaknesses of their own. It means being tolerant of others and making allowances but not letting them tread all over you. Compassion isn’t about doing things for others or being generous in order to ‘get something in return’. It’s not even about getting the ‘buzz’ from doing something ‘good.’ It’s looking out for others simply because you want to help them.
We are all the same
We live in times when differences in race and creed are emphasised but actually there are far more similarities between all peoples. We all have the same needs in life where ever we happen to live.
True civilisation needs compassion
True civilisation isn’t about art or music or wonderful architecture. It is simply to do with how well one human being treats another human being. Cultivating compassion may be central for the survival of the whole human race.
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