Compassionate Living – Choose Compassion Over Cruelty

Compassion is a virtue that is essential for a harmonious society. This trait signifies caring about another person, animal, plant and nature. Humans are social creatures and when we feel alone or ignored, we feel insignificant and easily replaceable.

The world coming together as one

Compassion can be demonstrated through a smile or hug. It can be shown in our actions such as helping a person cross the street, opening the door for a stranger or serving food to the homeless. There are multitudinous ways to show compassion for our fellow man. It is easy to do when our lives are not being affected by the other person. In fact, we like when people are suffering because it makes us feel better about our own lives.

What happens when we are personally involved in the situation? Are we able to show compassion to our family, friends, boss, professor or political leaders? Do we put ourselves in the other person’s position to understand the angst that person is dealing with? Do we try to understand the other person’s point of view or do we go immediately into a tirade?

These are important questions to ask ourselves. When people are triggered by other people, we become defensive. Our first reaction is to threaten, criticize, yell and torment the other people. It is essential for us to be the winners. We will get our point across in every way we could possibly think of even if these actions cause the others to feel humiliated, embarrassed or guilty. We prey on the weak and pounce on the insecurity of others. We know the “hot buttons” to press and when we are angry, we use those buttons to make people feel subservient and “less than.”

All of a sudden our compassion flies out the window. In addition, we usually want confirmation that our behaviors were justified so we speak to our friends about it. If we don’t receive the agreement solicited, the friend is in danger of our wrath as well. We continue asking people until someone agrees and offers us sympathy. Then we feel we are the winners. However, whether we won or lost in our minds, the truth is we lost a part of our souls.

The divine inside of us thrives on compassion. This compassion cannot be administered to some and kept hidden from others. One of the “Ten Commandments” states “do onto others as you expect them to do onto you.” We are putting out mixed signals and then wonder why people aren’t compassionate. If we truly want to experience compassion from others, we must start with ourselves.

People don’t need sympathy. This is just keeping them in a state of weakness. Hearing I am so sorry keeps people literally feeling sorry for themselves. It becomes a habit for getting attention and does little to resolve any issues. People need someone to truly listen to their words, acknowledge their feelings and then develop ways to rectify their problems. Acknowledging does not mean agreeing. It means I understand your feelings. Now, let’s create a new life and forgive the past. Together, let’s figure out a solution to each of your issues. Role playing, listening intently and allowing people to find the answers within themselves shows them they are not alone. Somebody has true compassion for them.

This practice can be implemented with family, friends, the community and the world. Bullying is a form of terrorism. Berating, blackmailing and joining forces to humiliate a person is one of the lowest forms of humanity. In my opinion, it is just as brutal as murder. In fact, bullying could be considered murder because many individuals commit suicide due to groups of people tormenting them. Bullying used to be mainly in the classroom and school setting. Now, bullying is done through social media sites so there is no reprieve. It is unrelenting and the person being bullied feels the only option is to leave the planet.

Why does bullying occur? First, many kids are bullied by parents, neighbors or community members. They need a scapegoat so they could feel superior and better about themselves. Second, almost everybody wants to be accepted by their peer group. Teens judge their peers based on external appearance, clothes they wear, personalities they find acceptable and so on and so forth. Jealousy plays a large role as well. Victims are targeted almost immediately. In order to be popular or fit into a particular group, teens need to conform to the actions of the majority. Great entertainment involves bullying. Watching a person be ridiculed brings excitement, laughter and joy. Their main occupation does not involve studying. Instead, they focus their attention on demoralizing another human being. Third, the students know if they join the group and participate in this cruelty, they are safe from the vehemence of their peers. It is easier to join than to be a victim.

As adults, we continue bullying. It is usually in the form of gossip. When people are strong and confident, gossip will give them energy to obtain their biggest dreams. The energy builds up the momentum of their desires and gives them a huge boost to success. However, most of our society is in fear and depression. Gossip will throw them over the edge.

If you have ever gossiped, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It is fun to talk about others and when done behind their back, the person is unable to defend themselves. I admit I was a coward and spoke many times about people. I am not proud of this trait yet I am willing to admit it. I wasn’t forced to participate. I did it of my own choosing in order to be accepted. I have forgiven myself for this transgression. At the same time, I had many people gossip and ostracize me. I learned incredible and valuable lessons.

The next time you decide to talk negatively about another person, stop and say only positive and wonderful remarks. We owe this to ourselves, the person and the world. People have been treated unkindly and feel all alone. Show them they are not alone. Ask them to join you and your friends. Introduce them to new people. Show them people on this planet are really compassionate. We are all one. When one suffers, we all suffer. When one is happy, we feel that internal joy in our hearts especially when we were the ones who put a smile on that person’s face.

(The song’s lyrics are poignant but I have an important point to add: by changing the world for one … one at a time, we can change the world. Others will follow our example and the collective world at large will change.)

I would like to end with a poem I wrote:

A person helping a blind man across the street
A beggar smiling when invited into someone’s house to eat
Teenagers asking a depressed student to join them at lunch
Gangs finally understanding compassion is better than a punch
Seeing the fear in the eyes of our enemies
And realizing these fears also exist in me
Children are taught society makes the rules
This creates laziness and stubbornness similar to mules
Let’s teach our youth about the purity of souls
It all begins with love, peace and compassion and that makes our Universe whole

To ensure peace on this planet and a peaceful, happy life, choose to embrace compassion© By contributing Author, Vanaja Ananda – All Rights Reserved. Compassionate Living – Choose Compassion Over Cruelty appearing on: Learn more from Vanaja here.