Heal­ing through com­pas­sion

“The true aim of the cul­ti­va­tion of com­pas­sion is to de­velop the courage to think of oth­ers and to do some­thing for them.”

Deccan Chronicle - - Oped - Moin Qazi is a well-known banker, au­thor and Is­lamic re­searcher. He can be reached at moin­[email protected]

All the ma­jor re­li­gions place great im­por­tance on com­pas­sion. Whether it’s the para­ble of the good sa­mar­i­tan in Chris­tian­ity, Ju­daism’s “13 At­tributes of Mercy” or the Bud­dhist teach­ings of metta and

karuna, empathy for the suf­fer­ing of oth­ers is seen as a spe­cial virtue that has the power to change the world. This idea is of­ten ar­tic­u­lated by the Dalai Lama, who ar­gues that in­di­vid­ual ex­pe­ri­ences of com­pas­sion ra­di­ate out­ward and in­crease har­mony for all.

Com­pas­sion is how we can heal our tinc­tured planet. When we mind­fully at­tend to the per­son we’re with, or the tree in our front yard, or a squir­rel perched on a branch, this liv­ing en­ergy be­comes an in­ti­mate part of who we are.

Com­pas­sion is of­ten seen as a dis­tant, al­tru­is­tic ideal cul­ti­vated by saints or as an un­re­al­is­tic re­sponse of the naively kind-hearted. But if we view com­pas­sion this way, we lose out on ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the trans­for­ma­tive po­ten­tial of one of our most pre­cious but ne­glected in­ner re­sources.

It is true that it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly chal­leng­ing to preach and prac­tice com­pas­sion. When best­selling books and movies all seem to fo­cus on self-in­dul­gence and en­cour­age whin­ing over the petty prob­lems of life, how can we grow into com­pas­sion­ate, self­less hu­man be­ings? The an­swer has as many petals as an un­fold­ing lo­tus flower, and within each petal is a sim­ple truth: Com­pas­sion has to be prac­ticed with a spirit of al­tru­ism; we should ex­pect noth­ing in re­turn.

It’s much eas­ier to be self­ish. What the world needs the most right now is love. There is so much strife and strug­gle; love alone can pro­vide a light of san­ity and weave or­der out of chaos.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.