If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.

If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

-Dalai Lama

Compassion is caring about the suffering of others and wanting to help.  It is more than just sympathy for someone in need.  It involves an emotional response to another person’s suffering and an authentic desire to help.

Tuning In

As usual, the session starts with a short meditation.  This week it was around the theme of kindness and can be see here.

How should we treat others?

Our society seems to be increasingly individualistic and competitive.  All around us people are focusing on their own narrow interests, often at the expense of others.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

-Aesop

We were asked me a few comments on how we like others to treat us.  Mine included:

  • With respect
  • Not spoken down to
  • As though my issues are valid
  • Politely
  • Not ignored
  • With compassion

Expert View – Karen Armstrong

This week’s expert view was by Karen Armstrong.  It can be seen here.  Karen Armstrong is an expert on the history of religion and launched the ‘Charter for Compassion’ which is a global movement to encourage more compassion.

My main points from her talk were:

  • Our brains have evolved higher thinking centres which allow us to care for others and put their needs above ours.
  • The path to inner peace lies in observing the golden rule.
  • Everyone suffers pain.
  • We’re born to be caring and compassionate
  • Kindness is contagious
  • Caring for others brings huge benefits.

Helping Others

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

-Winston Churchill

We next stopped to reflect on the times we have helped others.  Mine were:

  • Helping daughter with her homework
  • Volunteering on 7 cups of tea

I think this is somethings I can aim to do more of and would be of benefit to others as well as myself.

Action Point

  • Help out on 7 cups of tea more often.
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