How Compassion can save us

With the lack of compassion, if from how one was raised, social influences or mental illness, all cruelty is born. The abuse of children, domestic violence, terrorism, animal cruelty, greed, slave labour, torture, rape, countries that gas their own people, racism…are all caused when empathy is not present. Even in the life of livestock, the factory mass slaughter of animals, day in and day out, causes a complete breakdown of empathy and compassion. 

Is this just the way we are? Should we just accept it?

“Dr. James R. Doty, clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University, and the Director of the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, has the answer.

Dr. Doty says that fundamentally being compassionate or caring for others is actually our default mode. We are wired to care for others. The problem comes with our adrenalin powered lifestyles.” (From the Uplift website by Azriel ReShel August 2017).

How sick is our society that it is affecting our capacity to be compassionate? Our modern society is developing much faster than we are evolving in this fast pace world. There is an epidemic of depression, stress and anxiety, which in turn, attacks the immune system. The overstimulation of our fast pace lives also causes us to over react and become judgemental. However, when someone acts with compassion, it produces a positive effect on their physiology and can trigger a positive effect on others around them. This is when we function at our best. Meditation and the practice of positive thinking has been around for centuries and is found in many cultures. It is not always considered for everyone. It may not seem like a masculine thing to do. Masculinity makes the idea of compassion and positive thinking to be weak and useless. Does conquering and destroying make a good leader or hero? Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela were able to change nations with the power of peace. They were not the first and not the last. As the world grows tired of war and destruction, new heroes emerge. The gathering of expert cave divers, rescue workers, Thai navy Seals…a global operation…saved 12 boys and their coach from a flooded cave filled the news media with the praise to the heroes!  All the positive elements of masculinity came into play, like strength, courage and leadership. Can this positive and compassionate type of masculinity replace the hardcore domineering practice of something like the armed forces? Most people would say no. Yet, we are seeing a more compassionate movement in all areas of society. The abuse that was used in schools decades ago would be a criminal offence today. Why? When did someone decide it was wrong, that corporal punishment was wrong? When did someone finally decide that been homosexual was not a crime or when a person in the military, police force, etc was struck down with PTSD that they were not weak? We are slowly becoming more compassionate. But are we too slow?

Even though there are many philanthropists doing their bit to help this planet, we need a much greater collective effort. We require governments and cultures to create a new practice that enables compassion to be accepted and applied. The practice of responsible citizenship has always been difficult to teach the masses because the masses have been taught to protect themselves, to indulge themselves and to take time out for themselves. 

Marketing and economics have caused us to put importance on money and what we can get out of it.  Corporations have become too powerful and now our democracies are looking like dictatorships. Governments have made it impossible for us to relax, taxing and regulating society till the working classes are debilitated.  Is this the plan? To smother us to the point we don’t care. We are left only with the possible solution which is to take care of yourself first. When we are taught to think of ourselves first, corporations make money. It is these corporations that are hanging on to the money, that are depleating the land, that are using cheap labour, bribing politicians and lawmakers, producing toxic waste, destroying habitats and polluting our air.  

Scientists are pleading to world leaders that we must act now to bring change to the world. The whole of the science community can’t be wrong nor are they just alarmists. 

It is up to the consumer and the masses to bring on change. Think about what you do, what you buy and how you treat people. Tell your concerns to all levels of government, to your grocery store, your local schools, police force, farming community, etc and help bring change now. If all else…be kind.