March 23, 2011

What is true compassion?

Compassion is not a frame of mind. It is an action.

Quit, don’t quit? Noodles, don’t noodles? You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.” -Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda

We like to think of our lives as existing along a continuous time-line. This is a misunderstanding. In reality, your life exists moment to moment. Each moment you die. Each moment you are reborn.

Sure you can think about the past and maybe have some regrets at all the things you have screwed up and believe me, we have all screwed up!

And yes, you can worry about the future. Which ain’t a bad thing when you are planning for retirement.

But no matter how much you think about the past and the future, you never actually have the past and the future. The past is gone and the future is nowhere.

Really, the only time you are ever going to be able to help anyone is at this moment. No amount of shame or guilt will help you or anyone else at this moment. Your entire life is right there, at this moment. So just do it! Someone shows up who needs help, just help them.

Of course this might mean that you help them as a computer geek, an artist, a yogi or a librarian. At this moment, help.

That is true compassion.

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