I’ve been working on my compassion lately. That is, on increasing my ability to care about others. Which, for me, is no easy task; I seem naturally inclined to take offense, find fault, nitpick, make quick judgments based on appearance, you name it and I’m inclined to fit the bias.
I’m much more comfortable being alone with my thoughts and activities than I am around others, particularly when there are large numbers of others. Even around my friends there’s a limit to how long I find companionship a good thing.
Of course, I do understand, from a purely pragmatic standpoint, the need at times to stand in the presence of another sentient being or two………
But, right now my concern is compassion; I know it must be true that there is common bond among us all; we all desire happiness, to be accepted by others, even liked. And the fact that we go about achieving these ends in a lot of different ways doesn’t change the essential fact of the matter.
So, I will meditate on compassion, work to understand those I’m inclined to abhor, those who exploit others for their own selfish gain, and those who consume excessively to the detriment of the world we’re all dependent on. I’ll start by focusing on the beauty of nature, the source of our common existence. I’ll meditate on those past civilizations that have striven to raise all citizens above mean existence, fought injustice, and respected all. And, if I backslide, if my thoughts return to the anti-social, greedy and subversive I will try and remember that everyone, whether they presently realize it or not really just want the same thing I do: serene existence.