On getting that lovin’ feeling….

I’ve been learning a lot about compassion in the last several months. It’s a difficult concept, that’s for sure. It’s very multi-faceted and much more complex than I think I ever really thought it was. The most incomprehensible thing I’ve come to learn is that understanding compassion also results in a great deal more intolerance than I previously had.

In general, I’m a pretty intolerant person. Now, let me explain a little bit there lest I sound like a wildly heartless bitch. The more I learn about the world and myself, the more intolerant I seem to become with those who aren’t the least bit tolerant of another worldview or way of life. I tend to lead a very “live and let live” kind of life, to a certain extent. There are plenty of “ways of life” that I totally disagree with…things like pedophilia and other such disgusting nonsense.

In learning more about compassion, however, I’m understanding that it has a lot to do with being able to look beyond oneself and making an effort to see another’s point of view. I recently watched Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp” (I’m working my way through the Disney library on Netflix right now) and, prior to owning a dog, the way Lady reacted to Jim-Dear and Darling’s new baby meant very little to me. Now, as a puppy-owner, it just broke my heart the way little Lady must have felt and it certainly made me want to ensure that Leo and Suki still know that we love them whenever babies come into play for our family.

Often times, when a very compassionless situation arises, I like to play the internal head-game of “What the F**k Is Wrong With You?” It’s a game I usually play while I’m watching the news. Because honestly, some stories can only result in that question. The game gets played in real life sometimes as well. There are just things that happen that I really wonder, “Why would someone do or say that?” Is it just a complete lack of regard for another person? Most times, the answer seems to be “Yes” which is rather unfortunate.

Compassion certainly isn’t something that every human is born with. It’s not like the ability to breathe or speak. It’s something that has to be learned; it’s something that needs to be taught. A person has to be willing to undergo the process of learning how to think beyond their own world and life. Not everyone is willing to do that, however. Which begs the question: Is a dis-compassionate person deserving of compassion themselves? My gut reaction is a resounding “NO!” I’m a firm believer in the golden rule and if someone is going to treat me with disrespect and disregard, well, back at ya! But that’s a pretty ugly cycle to get myself into.

And isn’t my own character worth far more, in the end, than trying to see to it that another person feel the lack of compassion they display?

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