Many of us spout the talk of love and compassion. It makes us feel warm and gooey inside, like pictures of cute kittens, but few of us truly practice it—me included, though at least I try.
Those who actively practice love and compassion may do special meditations, or pray that we will share the love of God, but how are we in our everyday life? A little awareness of how we are with others will go a long way towards developing more love and compassion on a real level.
Just watch yourself in your interactions and ask yourself; who am I concerned about here?
Here’s an example.
Remember the person who bored you with their story of their week from hell, or gave you a detailed run down of their health or relationship issues or some other ‘about me’ story, that went on and on regardless of the fact that you weren’t particularly interested.
You were bored because the story didn’t interest you. You were only concerned with your own comfort and entertainment.
Did you think them self-centred or lacking in awareness, or perhaps even foolish? And do you consider those qualities bad or inferior?
If so, you were judging them, not thinking about them (in terms of considering them) and certainly not caring about them.
Did you think that you had a greater awareness than they, that you knew better than to ramble on about yourself like that or that you would never bore someone else in the same way?
If so, you were only concerned with your own opinions and in building up your perception of your own good qualities. You had fallen prey to arrogance, and arrogance stifles love and compassion.
When you are busy putting down others consider the fact that whatever their faults and issues, you have a major fault yourself, for it is you that has the arrogance to judge, and you who are lacking the love and compassion to listen with an open heart and mind. If you truly have the awareness that you think you have, then you should be able to help the person overcome their suffering to some extend. You would at least try.
Some wise sage once said, do not seek the faults in others, seek the faults in yourself. (If you know where this quote comes from, please share)
Note the difference between judgement and the discernment that comes with awareness. Discernment has no arrogance with it. It is a simple knowing untainted by ideas of good or bad, better or worse, and so on. You see, you are aware, but you do not elevate yourself or see others as lower than you.