20 Jul

Among the most elevated of human emotions is that of compassion. A useful definition of compassion involves allowing ourselves to be moved by the suffering of others and experiencing the motivation to help alleviate and prevent it. The  most revered and beloved figures throughout history were those whose natural inclination toward compassion marked a central way of being for them.

We as a society have moved, in many cases, to the opposite pole. We harden ourselves to the clear suffering of others, rationalize their predicament as deserved and talk ourselves out of taking any steps to help them. We have been mesmerized into believing life is a zero sum game, and that we can only help another by subtracting something of value from our own store of good things. 

We have become comfortable with the idea gathering more and more for ourselves while starving others of necessary resources is just the inevitable workings of "the market," or "the luck of the draw." Tragically, those in our society we consider as leaders often are among those who exhibit the least amount of genuine compassion for others.

When we allow ourselves to resort to coercion of others as the means to achieve our ends and gather more for ourselves, we move further and further away from the wealth of compassion available to each of us. When we use fraud and deceit in our dealings with others, we have surrendered some part of our essential humanity that is necessary to a successful life for us and a healthy society for us to share in. 

When we insist on removing the ability for others to enjoy free choice, at that same moment we fasten on ourselves the shackles that remove our own ability to define the aspirations and ideals most likely to manifest the Good Life in our own unique way.

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