I see a lot of really wonderful people who struggle with the suffering in this world. This is of course only a sign of your empathetic connection to others. If we’re witnessing pain and we succeed in avoiding the creation of any judgments, then it’s quite natural to recall our own experiences of similar pain and therefore experience a very personal sense of compassion within ourselves.
The issue is, because modern society is addicted to critical over-thinking, people are turning an empathetic connection in one moment into a narrative that rides over top of many other unrelated moments. So when you’re at lunch with co-workers you can talk about science or nature or sports or business or your hobbies, so it’s important to recognize that discussions about the problems of the world are unhelpful, energy-tapping choices.
No one stopped a war from the lunchroom at work. But you can be gracious when a co-worker makes a mistake. You can be patient with people who don’t understand something as well as you. You can let people into traffic, give a compliment or do someone an unexpected behaviour. The world’s issues are due to the actions of the entire society. None of us controls society, but we can all take ownership of ourselves and then engage with our fellow Earthlings using compassion as a common connection.
It’s a great message from a wise man. Enjoy the video.
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.