Is compassion an ancient virtue in our times, or can we try and love each other a little more when it comes to small stuff?

By Jenita Richards

            On October 18, 2012 the Dalai Lama is giving his public talk on The Art of Compassion.  Concern for the misfortunes or sufferings of others shouldn’t be a difficult thing to muster up, but it seems to go forgotten at some points.  We seem to live in a self-serving time, where we dedicate pages to ourselves on the Internet and update people about what we’re doing in real time.  We’re encouraged to put ourselves first in everything we do and always look out for “number one." In doing that, do we tend to forget about others around us. While we may stop and profess sympathies for something we hear in passing, do we ever think about it long enough for it to be sincere?

            Often it seems like we’re not even given enough time to truly be empathetic and care about things that may not affect us.  Thanks to technology, as soon as we hear about one event another one is being presented to us and asking us to care.  Though this is true our concern for others shouldn’t be so limited that because it comes in multitude it’s also diluted.  If anything, this should make us be more understanding of the feelings and hardships of one another. 

            It doesn’t have to be anything big to muster up some understanding of a situation.  Maybe your co-worker had a rough start to their day.  Just because it doesn’t seem like the end of the world to you doesn’t mean that your co-worker really is just not at the top of their game today.  Instead of being judgmental, try to think of a time when you were just having an off day.  What could you do to make your peer’s load a little lighter? What you do for them on this day just might come back to you when you really need it. 

            I’m no master of compassion, and I don’t claim to be.  It’s something I try to work on daily.  From dealing with my mother, to dealing with strangers, I try and take their feelings into account.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is the Golden Rule that I learned. We should all try a little harder to express it sometimes.  The world could use it.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will speak on Oct. 18 and 19 at Western Connecticut State University, and the public is invited to a free showing (video simulcast) in the Ives Concert Hall, 181 White St. To help promote this opportunity, WCSU students in the Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process Department's Advertising, Copywriting and Promotions class created a Twitter page. and they are writing this blog daily.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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