I was pondering on compassion today, and searching the web for quotes and articles. I stopped at an article entitled Compassion and the Individual by Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama.
Below is an excerpt.
Simple. Clear. Powerful.
The best article I ever found on compassion, from me to you:
“True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively.
Of course, developing this kind of compassion is not at all easy!
As a start, let us consider the following facts:
Whether people are beautiful and friendly or unattractive and disruptive, ultimately they are human beings, just like oneself. Like oneself, they want happiness and do not want suffering.
Furthermore, their right to overcome suffering and be happy is equal to one’s own.
Now, when you recognize that all beings are equal in both their desire for happiness and their right to obtain it, you automatically feel empathy and closeness for them.
Through accustoming your mind to this sense of universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others: the wish to help them actively overcome their problems. Nor is this wish selective; it applies equally to all. As long as they are human beings experiencing pleasure and pain just as you do, there is no logical basis to discriminate between them or to alter your concern for them if they behave negatively.”