By the way, this True Beauty activity is purposely not expressed as “practice being compassionate” as I don’t know if one can be compassionate until one has really learned to feel compassion on a regular basis. If compassion doesn’t come naturally—and it may not with all people—then one must “exercise the muscle” to best use it with ease and regularity.
Compassion is the root expression of our awareness of the universality of the ability to experience pain, no matter its origin or reason, no matter the species, race, intelligence, or preferences. We have all experienced some sort of pain. That simple fact is the unifying factor underlying the ability to practice compassion and distinguish it from mere empathy.
Compassion is the great leveler, the great unifying knowing. The Dalai Lama has been widely quoted as saying, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
Suppressing compassion causes harmful complications. If we can objectify an Other, disassociate ourselves from “Them,” it is easy to find fault, un-beauty. Once, however, we can experience compassion, we can practice being compassionate from a place of sincerity without artifice.
And compassion is said to be the basis of all morality.
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