c.s.ellington, Character of Texas Portrait Company, csellington, love, photography, wellness

There is Nothing Heavier than Compassion

Why? Why in the world are people so condemning toward each other? Do animals do this? Surely the animal world is kinder than that. Their aggression toward each other is from a natural state of survival. What is condemnation and where is it coming from? Do all people experience it?

I’m in my third floor apartment thinking about it. There are times when we disappoint another, sometimes it is truly our responsibility and we can own the action, apologize, learn from it, forgive ourselves and move on. Other times, it is a falseness of disappointment that has less to do with anything we have done. And more to do with a person’s own inner workings. Condemnation. Where does it come from?

It seems to me, people who feel good about themselves do not bother with condemnation of others. It took me a long time to see that. The air of superiority does not come from those who truly love themselves and others. Religion can misperceive a situation and cause a person to focus differently than on love. Christians are quite well-known for this, as Gandhi was quoted in saying, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

And so it goes, and the people within it – the condemnation – appear not to be able to see. It appears, to me, that the people most engrossed in the religiosity of religion have dangerously missed the mark.

What I don’t like, and I would usually speak in terms of what I do like not what I don’t, …I don’t like condemnation. It carries with it a better than others attitude. I do like criticism, especially when it’s fair. I received some today and I owned it, took responsibility for it, apologized. That is different from condemnation, though even criticism can go too far. Condemnation is a different beast. It seems to have its basis in moral absolutism and lack of love for self and others.

Where there is condemnation, I would like to see kindness. Condemnation says, “You are not doing things the way I would do them so, therefore, you’re wrong. You have no right to be fully you. Do what I say and then there will be peace.” That is no way to live. We are each human, accountable to a higher power during and after our lives. I believe each of us is trying to do our best in what we believe is right and what we are capable of. I say let the condemnation stop and allow the compassion to begin. Really! It’s a better way to live.

“I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.”  – Mother Teresa

“For there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.”  – Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”  – Plato

Love, be loved. The world has a lot to offer you.

c.s.

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