Eventually we come to a place where we walk in this world with compassion.
It arises first when we see the difficulties and pain of others, and we feel from the depth of our heart that we want to alleviate their misery. We come to the aid of the individual in need who we encounter on the path of life, and we seek the transformation of the system that contributes to such misery.
In time, our compassion deepens and we discover that the mental anguish and suffering that plagues people’s lives stems from the false beliefs, mindsets, narratives and ideologies that rule them from within. We are mindful of how people become trapped in stories about themselves, God, others, and life itself, and suffer as a result.
As our compassion continues growing, it shifts from an occasional emotional response to a particular person’s plight, and becomes more of a way of being in the world. This way of being first involves turning into yourself and realizing that the entire narrative of the world that produces suffering is false. We see that it is not true that each of us are separate and individual beings, fighting, clawing and competing each day for love, peace, joy, freedom, well-being and happiness. We understand that things are not as they appear, and that the notion of being separate from God, each other, and well-being is a lie. We realize that the suffering of our world is simply what we have generated out of our own ignorance and falsehood.
As a result, we come to understand that one of the deepest expressions of compassion for all people and all things is to simply be and live the truth – to refuse the falsehood, shed our ignorance, and embrace the truth. We recognize that seeing things as they really are aids the liberation of all.
You can cultivate compassion in the smallest ways. Start with someone specifically that you know and care about, and wish for their happiness, well-being, and freedom. Be mindful of those ways you can express that compassion tangibly. Then think of a person you know only casually, someone who is neutral in your life, and wish these same things for them. Then work up to a someone you would consider an enemy, and have these thoughts for this person as well, wishing for their happiness, well-being, and freedom. Cultivate compassion by focusing your thoughts and wishes for one specific person at a time, and eventually you will see that your compassion will become indiscriminate and universal for all people.
True compassion is not just a knee-jerk emotional response, but springs from the recognition that every person is our brother and sister, that we are all inseparable, and all in this together.