More than a word describing the general spirit of love, compassion can be a hands-on philosophy – one with plenty of good reasons to live it fully each day:
Impermanence – Kindness lasts in a world made of things that do not. Showing care, empathy, and love – the “invisible” elements that make life worth living – are ways to make certain that our spirit remains present long after our journey has passed.
Understanding – Compassion isn’t necessarily easy work. Forgiveness and acceptance can be challenging, forcing us to swallow our pride now and again. But ultimately, putting ourselves into someone else’s place helps us better understand one another and the nature of our interconnected lives.
Wisdom – Love makes our lives far richer than any material gain or social status. In an environment that values fast data and hardline results, it might sometimes seem that patience and benevolence are outdated models – but when all else inevitably fades away, compassion remains firm.
Openness – In compassion, we are freed to let our guard completely down. When acting in self-interest, we must wear masks to protect our desires and fears. But when acting in something greater than self-interest, our true peaceful nature is revealed.
Inspiration – Time after time we see how one small action can reverberate throughout a family, a town, a society – showing that goodness is a flame that never dies when it is passed from one person to another. Goodness only inspires more goodness.
Healing – Sometimes in life we need medicine, nutrition, and physical recovery. And sometimes our hearts and spirits require similarly beneficial treatments of care and love – we are each other’s doctors and nurses in the realms of spiritual health.
Strength – Compassion makes us move beyond ourselves. It is one of the great ironies of life that what we won’t or cannot do for ourselves, we are able to do for others – showing that universal concern for mankind is always more powerful than self-driven interest and personal gains.