Compassion is the best investment of the 21st century. This thought was reinforced during my time at the 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat.
We may dislike other people, but those feelings do not have to be permanent. It starts with breaking the habit of being yourself.
One person may argue that being yourself is important because it shows authenticity. It is true to an extent. Although, compassion cannot surface if your attitude is run by your ego.
Another person may argue that being yourself can leave you vulnerable.
There is nothing wrong with being vulnerable at times. I believe it helps you to a certain extent because it shows other people that you are just like them. A human with flaws!
Almost everyone makes their assumptions about people or things. By default, when we do not have enough information about someone or something, we fill in the gaps with our assumptions.
Many people will buy an expensive home or car to paint the perceptual picture that they are wealthy. In return, there are countless numbers of people who form their assumptions from these perceptions.
Honestly, I did these same type of things in my younger years. I wanted to prove to the world that I was worthy of significance.
Fast forward now, it is much easier to have compassion on these types of people.
Compassion is nothing more than showing unconditional love, regardless of the opinions that we form about other people or things. It is not always easy, but it starts with us.
It is best to look at people and things with a deeper sense of ignorance. We do not know their path in life. Making quick assumptions only shows our arrogance. Instead of trusting our instincts, we should actually ask questions to get the truth.
The book, The Four Agreements offers a great agreement that we should commit to our daily life. "Do not make assumptions."
It is easier said than done. I know! Although, it is time to incorporate this new habit in your life.
I can only be perceived as a compassionate person if I start working on being more compassionate towards others. Furthermore, I can do my best to focus on seeing the good traits in someone else. It is this effort that makes it easier to show compassion towards others.
The best course of action to take is to focus on our journey in life. We cannot control others, but we can control ourselves. We can use our will to increase the capacity to love one another.
There is no doubt that compassion can form friendships and even lead to intimate relationships.
It starts with love. You cannot be compassionate without loving someone unconditionally.
So, many people invest their time in matters that they cannot control, like persuading others to embrace religious ideologies or vote for corrupt politicians. A person's time is better served by being compassionate towards others.
Compassion is the best investment of the 21st century and the centuries to come.
This is an abbreviated version of the full article, which originally appeared on Reaching The Finish Line.