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Compassion and The Self

As a young woman, I am often told to love myself. Love myself no matter my flaws or my quirks or what today's standard of beauty tells me to be. Love myself so that I may love others.

But loving yourself is hard.

Loving yourself means to admit your mistakes. Loving yourself means to accept your faults. Loving yourself means a constant battle with your ego- your defense mechanism, your protection.

Are You a Fool for Love?

 

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious.  Love does not brag; it is not puffed up.  It is not rude; it is not self-serving; it is not easily angered or resentful.  It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things; believes all things; hopes all things; endures all things.” --St. Paul to the Corinthians

A Few Definitions of Compassion

I ask people in Davis, California to share their written concept of compassion in a notebook. The responses span different ideas based mostly on people's spiritual/religious beliefs or personal experience. Also being a college town, often people share from an academic perspective. I began asking June 3rd, 2009 and thus far have received over ten thousand responses. Here are a few examples of what people think compassion is from anonymous entries shared in the notebooks:

A genuine sense of understanding and the act upon it. 

Forgiveness and Compassion

This week, I finished a book on the Columbine shootings. The piece was written by Dave Cullen, a New York Times journalist, who lived through the media circus that was the coverage of the massacre. The story uses hindsight to delve into many of the myths surrounding the shootings, the perpetrators, the victims, and the culture that permeated Columbine High School. The story is expertly told.

Five Years of Compassion

On June 3rd, 2009, I entered into a lifelong endeavor, asking a simple question to the world, "What is compassion?" Last Tuesday marked the five year anniversary. Since that initial day, after asking over twenty thousand people and receiving approximately ten thousand entries, I feel as though these first five years are just the beginning of an incredible lifelong journey of bringing awareness to compassion.

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