They say that to truly experience something we should walk in the shoes of another. To fully experience another’s pain and another’s joy, to weather the good times and the bad, to be discriminated against, to be judged, to be turned away for some reason, hated for some reason, or despised because of who we are is the road to compassion.
Compassion however begins at home, within the self. If we never turn inward and never gain insight into what makes us tick we will never be able to truly experience compassion. We might say we are compassionate beings, but compassion is without borders, without restriction, and compassion does not discriminate.
Compassion takes the view that we are all the same, souls on evolutionary journeys, that we are all beings of light and energy, with endlessly infinite possibility. To find out if we are truly compassionate beings, we must ask ourselves: Do I truly see everyone that way, as beings of light and energy? And then we must be honest with what arises from deep within.
Today, as I read the news of the great migrations into Europe, I see a microcosm of what is to come, the same energy on the move that is happening on an environmental level. Things are being destroyed in one form or another and living beings, evolutionarily keyed to survival, are moving to better, higher, cooler ground. It’s happening all over the planet; species are dying; extinctions are happening.
I do believe that people, on the whole, are compassionate, caring beings. But at the same time they are afraid of change, of anything that might impose on their stable existence. Let others suffer, but don’t bring any of your personal problems into my backyard. Well, I think we all have to get used to the fact that the problems belong to all of us and this world is all one big backyard now. We’ve all made it that way. And just as true compassion is without borders, we have to have a world without borders too, if we are to truly be the compassionate beings we say we are.
So many people are fearful of others, fearful of their differences, perceived ideas of things they know nothing about, perpetuating stories and lies that have circulated the globe like folktales, harbingers of hate and discrimination. In the end we are all flesh and blood, with emotions and feelings, as mixed up and confused as the next person, and we are all facing death at the end of our time here. There is nothing that makes us different there.
Fear keeps us isolated and contained. But fear is usually something inside us, something that has been festering and brewing since childhood, things we were taught that may not be true at all. When we face our own personal fears in the right way, with compassion for ourselves and those who hurt, discriminate, or cause us pain, we access our fearlessness. And true compassion is fearless too. In facing our fears and our pain with compassion we release ourselves of all that keeps us locked in and locked out of the truly compassionate world we all wish for.
Perhaps the new world we all wish for will have a new name, no longer called Earth, it will be called Compassion. To become ready to walk down the road toward Compassion, we must first walk down our personal road of fear, and meet head on all that confronts us as we migrate through the borders and fears within. It is the only way to reach Compassion.
One at a time, if we take the trip we can make the world truly compassionate, fearless, without borders, nobody excluded, anywhere. That is the new world of Compassion.
On the road to Compassion,