Compassion is a Compass…

It only recently occurred to me that the word “compass” comprises most of the word “compassion.” This has been very helpful to me in my own daily endeavors to become a more compassionate being. I’ve come to realize that compassion isn’t about looking down on another being from one’s own lofty height and feeling sorry for them. More often than not, we have more in common with the homeless person, or even the deer caught in a thicket, than we’d care to admit or imagine.

Compassion is the ability to comprehend that we are all looking for the same thing: happiness — albeit in different ways. If you work at a drive-in window at a fast food establishment, the middle-aged executive in his Lamborghini, screaming his head off — at you– because he got the five-piece chicken nugget meal instead of the seven-piece, is truly only trying to be happy. His spouse is cheating on him; he hates his job; it’s an election year and X is probably going to become president; and now, he can’t even get the right number of chicken nuggets! Is that fair? How much more is he supposed to bear? Is asking for seven pieces instead of five so much to ask?

It’s very tempting, when someone verbally abuses us, to want to shovel the abuse straight back in their direction. We think that it might do them some good to realize the impact of being subject to another’s rude and angry words. Don’t they know that being rude accomplishes nothing? Yes, we’ll yell right back, give them a taste of their own medicine, and perhaps save them from ever treating anyone so rudely again. Yep! Tough love! Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way because if we truly understand the nature of compassion, we also understand that someone else’s inability to understand the nature of compassion is no excuse for us to act in a retaliatory fashion. It is we who bear the greater responsibility if we do not let compassion be our compass. It is we who shovel the greater amount of negative karma onto our paths by yelling more loudly to ensure that that “idiot” will be sure to “hear” us, thus understanding how rude they are… And the Universe has not provided any type of GPS for determining alternate routes around these types of self-imposed “road blocks”…

It is the height of hypocrisy to become angry at someone for being in a space that we, ourselves, once occupied. How can we stand there, with the compass of compassion in our hands, and do everything but try to assist a faltering being in finding a better direction? Did we act any better when we were lost? Do we not, yet, understand that the people who annoy us most are the ones who have the audacity to act as we once did and occasionally still do? If we do not understand that there is a significant difference between telling people “where to go” (because they’re “idiots”) and assisting people in finding a better path, we do not truly, yet, have the compass of compassion in hand. Of course, there will always be those who are “tripping” in ways we’ve never seen, much less imagined. But that’s another post…

Compassion is how we find our way back to each other. It never leads us to believe that we are better than, or more deserving of happiness than, any other being…

Today, I will practice using the compass of compassion to help myself, and others, find a better path. Today, I will meditate on the thought that if my compassion is not a compass that leads me to my commonality with all beings — it is I who am lost…




One thought on “Compassion is a Compass…

Thank you for leaving a reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s