Wonderful TED talk by Krista Tippett. I really like how she teases this magnificent word out from its current debasement into pity, wherein the one who “feels pity” also sees him or herself as “above” or “better than” or “other than” the Other.
From my notes:
Beyond “tolerance” is compassion.
Compassion is kind. Kindness is an everyday byproduct of all the great virtues.
Synonymous with empathy. Linked to generosity, hospitality.
Curiosity without assumptions — the breeding ground for compassion.
Linked with the simple act of presence, just being there, just showing up.
Linked with beauty, a willingness to see beauty in the other, not just what it is about them that might need helping.
Brings us within the territory of mystery, to look to see the face of God in the moment of suffering, in the face of a stranger, in the face of the vibrant religious Other.
Compassion seeks physicality (shows a yoga teacher who is a paraplegic).
Compassion is tender.
Compassion is linked to story.
The highest human calling is to “look for the light, to point at it when we see it, to gather it up, and in so doing, to repair the world.”
Einstein: “Geniuses in the art of living are more necessary to the dignity, security, and joy of humanity than the discoverers of knowledge.”
Compassion cannot be reduced to sainthood any more than it can be reduced to pity.
We can call compassion a spiritual technology that is vastly needed now.