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#34 Be. Compassionate: From Struggle Comes Compassion

Everyone will experience struggles and suffering at some time in their lives. Paradoxically some of us have more struggles but suffer less. If you are accustomed to struggle you learn to deal with it, you realize that things happen that you have no control over.

Struggle can make people bitter and selfish, or it can make them feel empathy and compassion towards others. Fortunately I feel the disabled community is a compassionate one, not just because of struggles, but also from a determination to overcome them.

But compassion doesn’t and shouldn’t be confined to disability, to the less fortunate or to our own loved ones. The people who act out in destructive ways against others should be shown compassion. The people that have been cruel to us should be shown compassion.  Because we don’t always know what pain or struggle others have experienced and continue to experience.

I have just signed the Charter for Compassion. This quote from the charter nicely summarises compassion and what it means to be compassionate: “honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.” If you are interested check it out here

I went to Lady Gaga’s recent concert in Auckland and came away not just impressed with her talents but also with her message of compassion. She asked the audience to “value each other; be compassionate.”

She also said the following, which really resonated with me:

"I feel like if you are a really good human being you can try to find something beautiful in every single person no matter what."

As Lady Gaga alludes to here, we should be compassionate to all.