I think about compassion daily. Oh it’s not simply because I read too much on social media about tragedies and sadness that affects others. I think about compassion as I walk along the pathway and try to not step on that errant insect or make sure my younger son keeps the bird feeder full. It is a dollar at the Ronald McDonald house, or a donation for Wounded Warriors. It is buying for the food bank and dropping off clothes for the United Way.Is it enough? No it never is. But to be human is to be imperfect. And as long as you know that you can always try to reach a higher understanding of yourself, you can grow into a better version of yourself; YOU 2.0.
If you are to live a good life then it must be filled with compassion and not the only the Sunday, or Saturday, kind of compassion. But a daily reminder that we are simply, and for want of a better idea, interconnected and our own survival depends on the compassion of others. Society thrives because people are basically good and want to live a good life. A joyous life. A fulfilled life. A positive life. The majority of us never wish to hurt another person or living creature. We wish not to denigrate or harm. We wish to leave this world a better place than we found it.
We, as an interconnected society do depend upon the kindness of strangers. In fact it is that odd act of cruelty that so inflames our spirit or emboldens us to seek out justice that makes this a better world. We strive for answers and purpose. We look for reasons, meanings and direction.
In truth compassion, or as some call it, karma, is what makes life tolerable and so worthwhile. It is our human ability to redress wrongs and to understand another’s plight that helps us to grow and develop.
Part of our chore is that we must come to terms with the reality that we cannot individually solve the world’s ills, or truly have much direct effect upon the world as a whole. We can only be compassionate within our own little sphere of influence.
It is why the Talmud teaches us,” that to have saved a single life is to have saved the world.” For what you do for one person may affect their world, their existence forever. The sages also knew that individual persons cannot have a worldwide affect. There truly is just so much that any one person can do. So we are commanded to act within the confines of your own circle.
Yet, compassion ripple effects can occur and random acts of kindness can take hold.Like the butterfly effect, whereby the beating of a butterfly wings half way around the globe, could have an effect on the wind currents and the movement of clouds worldwide. We can pass on goodness, love and compassion by simply being who we are truly meant to be.