Are We a People of Compassion?
“Compassion is the radicalism of our times”
—The Dalai Lama
With the recent U.S. government shutdown, I find myself asking a couple of pressing questions: Do we care about each other? Are we engaging in healthy behavior?
I don’t just ask those questions of our government leaders. I also ask them of our faith communities, our businesses, and our families. Are we capable of listening respectfully? Are we willing to learn and grow based on the needs of others? Are we practicing skillful and nonviolent communication methods? Do we care about the wellbeing of all people beyond the small, selfish agendas of power, greed, and ego? Are we willing to change when change is necessary?
What does a world of compassion look like? Here is what I envision:
It does not matter what country you come from, where you were born, or what your religion is. If you need food, we will feed you. If you need shelter, we will house you. If you need love, we will show you that we care for you.
It does not matter that your skin is lighter or darker than mine. It does not matter that you are a different gender or gender-neutral or transgender. It does not matter if you love someone of the same gender or of the opposite gender. We will treat you with respect and treat you fairly. If you need love, we will show you that we care for you.
It does not matter the nature of your illness or how it was caused. It does not matter if you are wealthy or poor. If you are sick, we will do whatever we can to help make you well. If you need love, we will show you that we care for you.
It does not matter if your word for God is different than my word for God. It does not matter if you worship in a church, a synagogue, a sweat lodge, a temple, a mosque, in nature, or with music or art or science. It does not matter if your religious symbol is a chalice, a cross, a circle, a Buddha, a prayer flag, a star, a crescent, a goddess, a menorah, a pentagram, or a hexagram. If you can practice universal love, you are living your faith. If you need love, we will show you that we care for you.
It does not matter if you are young or old. It does not matter if your ethnic heritage is unfamiliar to me. It does not matter if your political beliefs surprise or confuse me. If you need love, we will show you that we care for you.
Our earth home, with magnificent trees, flowing waters, birds, animals, sun, wind, and sky, is the gift that we share—in harmony, in peace, in compassion, and in love.
Joy & gratitude,
Diana J. Ensign