If you want others to be happy, practice compassion, if you want yourself to be happy practice compassion. – Dalai Lama
The greatest teaching and gift of all religious, spiritual and philosophies of the world are the two gems of Kindness and Compassion. Kindness is described that state of sublime existence where your entire being melts into a cause and stretches itself beyond the self-obsessed and narcissistic tendencies that restrict us and make us limited. When we are compassionate we are able to move beyond our own little world and comprehend what those outside of us are experiencing.
In today’s world of rush and speed we often hear people complain about how isolated they feel and how disconnected and passive they are to people around them. This is a crisis of the fast pace life that we life. A crisis that can culminate in an apocalyptic breakdown of our consciousness if we don’t take the necessary measures. The feelings of alienation and the feelings of being away from the world at large rise up from the fact that humans aren’t able to communicate as much as we were in the times before. There’s apprehension and layers of questions revolving around motives and interests. People automatically suppose they can’t do anything without material incentives.
If you want to see how even little gestures of kindness get suppressed and labeled as weird or being off the track just try smiling through out the day, even if it’s a stranger that you meet. The responses you get can be quite an eye opener to your own self and to the nature of those around you. Most people will probably look at you as if you are not in your sane senses, some will mistake you for somebody they know and only selected few will smile back at you with the acknowledgement that you are a stranger to them. A simple of act of smiling it’s said can brighten our day that is to say a little kindness and compassion can contribute to someone’s happiness. But the way things function today and the extent to which we are buried under our own apprehensions restrict us to even acknowledge this kindness.
It’s said learning begins at home, likewise kindness must too begin at home and that is with kindness towards your own self. Be compassionate to your situation and position in life and try and understand yourself before you try to stretch the same to the outside world, but be careful to not be so self-engrossed that you forget the world entirely. Compassion also stems from a non-judgmental mindset and the readiness to accept ideas or principles outside your boundaries.
There are so many kinds of people in this world, all coming from different backgrounds- both socially and economically, therefore it becomes necessary that we understand the variety of people with respect to their positions in life and not label them or judge them too soon, kindness and compassion for another soul can only stem from an Hegelian understanding of the developments in a person’s life. We often take it for granted that people have had similar experiences as us, this fallacy stems from the non-exposure to the world outside of the social spaces we inhibit normally.
Thomas Carlyle had said, “Without kindness, there can be no true joy. He said this living in the eighteenth century but the importance this holds for today is incredible. We often seek happiness in the ascetics and think of it as a concept this is alien to us, that is to attain this state of bliss we need something external. But when we say Kindness is Joy we do not imply that to experience this happiness you have to search for the nearest animal shelter and volunteer or help every single person you meet in a day. Kindness isn’t something that’s external to us, Kindness is that state of our mind which tends us towards peace, this is when we realize our capability as sentient beings to help others while looking after our own self at the same time. Likewise Kindness can’t emerge without Compassion. Both of these attributes go together and can’t be found in the many self-help books that effectively line the shelves of so many book stores, neither can they be found by losing yourself to the depths of nature. They can’t be inculcated but only nurtured with time and stem from an individual’s expectations from themselves as well as the cognition of the individual and his/her capability to be happy.
At times we forget that we are sentient beings that we are capable of making our own paths to happiness and that as said before happiness isn’t an alien concept outside of us but rather has to be found within our innermost self and the ease with which we can make peace with the world around us and within us. Kindness and Compassion are mere bed rock from which this happiness can arise and reduce our inability to connect with other sentient beings in this world by forming a great sense of connection and reducing our fears of intimacy.