#28 Compassion Explained


1. Compassion is not sentimental. There is no room for pity in compassion.It is an active force, born from courage to meet and understand and hold rather than to turn away from the pain all around us. It is more powerful than empathy–– because empathy, in a kind of passive taking-on of another's pain, doesn't actively move toward the pain with the power of love. 

The other thing about compassion is that it is unbiased. It does not care for argument. It does not try to be right. Its fundamental qualities are those that help others feel seen and understood and which help them wake up, even if that means being smacked around by the truth of things. 

So go ahead, smack your loved ones around. As long as you're doing it from your heart, they'll thank you. Later. 


2. We all imagine better lives than what we have been capable of so far. But for most people this idea of what your better life would look like is immature and underdeveloped. 

Why? Because our present cultural and personal myths are too much a celebration of the ego. Our notions of separate self are out of balance with all sorts of larger selves: family, community, the biological world, the universe and God. 

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"Without mindfulness, you won’t be in touch with your beliefs and dispositions. Without paying attention, without awareness, you will be operating out of habit, out of reaction and automatic behaviors. You will be moving perhaps, getting things done, but you won’t be learning, changing, growing and becoming freer. The more enlightened among us have given up childish preferences. They have looked into their own minds and yielded everything which does violence to life and truth. But to give up preferences, you must first know you have them and what they are. " ~ Ron Kurtz, founder of Hakomi

Do you have enough courage to play and be creative with your one and only life? Or are you still using the blueprint you came up with when you majored in accounting in college because it was in a convenient time-slot? 


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3. People who are both candid and humorous are a rare but most beautiful breed and is why I couldn't get enough of this conversation between Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan on Oprah. The key, as Sir Charles tells it, is not to give a fuck about what others think of you, because if they don't like you it's probably because their life sucks much worse than yours. Do you agree?  What stops you from speaking truthfully more often? 

Watch Barkley roast Jordan here. 

Bonus Wisdom Pin-up: