I know that when another’s compassion touches me, it can change my life, letting me see things in a new way, giving me hope and new energy to act as I could not before. I know that my compassion can warm others, and when it does it delights me.
I know that compassion, when not life-changing, can change my day: when another driver lets me pull out, I find myself behaving more courteously to others, and imagine a chain reaction of courtesy spreading across the city’s roads. When tempted to react to another driver’s discourtesy, compassion saves me from that: he is rushing, and perhaps his wife’s waters have broken; he is slow, and does not know where he is, and needs to take care to find the way.
I know that these small experiences and understandings of a moment’s compassion can help me give and receive compassion better. I take them into my heart, they warm me and help me value myself. I learn from them, and improve my practice, and see it benefits me.
I know that when I work with another compassion between us oils the wheels so that we work together more happily and more productively.
I know that when I behave altruistically, I gain joy.
I know that I feel compassion when I hear of people suffering on another continent, then may feel powerless. It is too much. There is nothing I can do, so I must take comfort from the acts I can perform in my own community. And I know that so many of us feel that same compassion, and that some blessed individuals can channel and direct this compassion so that it changes others’ lives: with that leadership we can act together and improve the conditions of clothing workers in Bangladesh or chickens laying eggs in barns.
I know that every thought or act of compassion, however small, has value for giver and receiver.
I know that people are naturally compassionate. We have mirror neurons in our brains which make us feel what another feels. I know that this is a great gift, because it binds us together and helps us to work together and when we are together we are so powerful.
I know that perfect love drives out all fear. I know God Who is Love.