Is Compassion the Secret Ingredient to Life?


I’ve been listening to Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris recently and I stumbled across the idea of compassion. I think of myself as a pretty average person - I know what compassion means. I know what moments of compassion feel like, but have I ever tried to actively be compassionate in my everyday experiences? No, I don’t think so.

From my brief research and basic understanding, compassion at its core is a connection and a concern for others. Being compassionate is a central part of being a human and I’m not so sure I’ve put compassion first, ever. I’ve been searching lately for purpose, meaning, a mission, etc but I’m starting to consider that I may have been looking in the wrong places (although that introspection has led me here). What would change if I thought more about the feelings of others? How would I enact such a change?

I think the answer is in meditation. I’ve dabbled in meditation time and time again, but I have never fully committed to making it a consistent force in my life. Outside of meditation, I think there needs to be a commitment to actively thinking about others and how they feel in certain circumstances. More specifically, imagine how powerful compassion could be in the work environment. If I actively considered the feelings of my coworkers - would I respond the same as before? Could I soften my tone and strengthen my delivery?

This is a journey and I’m only at the beginning. I want to point out one of the most important resources behind this exploration: The Dalai Lama’s Guide to Happiness. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning more about The Dalai Lama and the ideas he offers Dan Harris (and others) in this series of videos and meditations.