Compassion – Does It Work?
Well, we are not going to change the world – not in its current mindset of over reaction and aggression. So what’s compassion all about, then? It’s all about remaining tranquil within one’s own mind, and so not doing harm to others. This is the conduct of non-violence in body, speech and mind.
In Buddhism, there are four enlightened (compassionate) activities – pacifying, enriching, magnetising and destroying egos games. These are precise tools to work with as long as they do not turn into demonic activities by enhancing our own ego’s games. (search – The Four Enlightened Activities).
What is the right response that can benefit a situation?
For a start these four activities suggest that we have to do something, rather than ignoring the situation. Of course, if we don’t know what to do, then doing nothing is best – and safer. It’s all down to our capacity to cope.
Showing that we care opens the door. Then, if someone walks through, we can communicate: this means there is a willingness. If a person does not want to walk through the open door, it’s their choice. Compassion means not expecting anything in return. We understand that people are confused and easily offended: compassion is therefore challenging and needs skilful attention. Unfortunately our conventional manner may not be to everyone’s taste. We are of different types, and different karmic backgrounds.
Compassion does work as it changes our attitude and reactions towards others. Every day, we hear and read opinions being expressed as if in a nasty dreamscape. When communicating, even silence is part of this dreamscape, as it indicates that people have an aversion to truly connecting. If we cannot empathise, then we cannot have compassion.
Seeing all this as a sad affair is compassion!
We know something isn’t right.
The opposite of sadness is joy.
We long for the joy of meeting but we lack clarity,
and have to come out of our comfort zone.
When we have compassion, we have love.
A meeting of minds,
when our own feelings are less important than those of others.
Isn’t that what it’s all about?