I had lunch with a special friend today, and among other topics, we talked about compassion and love. I was thinking about our conversation the whole way home. From many people I get the impression that “love” is too heavy a topic, one that they find intimidating. The concept of opening your heart to other people, and giving freely of it, admittedly can be a daunting one.
So let us turn then to the thought of compassion. I think everyone can, or at least should, agree that showing compassion to others is a worthy and expected behavior. Compassion – the feelings of caring about, and wanting good outcomes – for others should be something each of us seeks to make an integral part of our being. Certainly compassion, just as love, takes many forms, but at least in having enough compassion to attempt to understand the circumstances of another, and humanely base our responses to them on that understanding should be minimally expected behavior from each of us who attempt to consider ourselves as good people. Compassion should be part of the curriculum for life – as my friend said – no matter what your background or religion, compassion should be universal.
Where I personally would choose to say that every action should be born of love – at least with certainty all of our actions should be tempered with compassion; should be based on the fundamental truth that each person we meet deserves our earnest attempts to understand them and care for their wellbeing; should reflect an earnest belief that people are worthy of kindness and consideration. At the very least our actions should always reflect our own belief in those concepts, our own hope that they become ubiquitous.