Tag Archive: compassion


If ‘life’ is viewed as a perceptible entity, then it can be understood that ‘life’ is not focussed upon the longevity of any given individual, but on the continuation of life.
Do not believe for one instant that in the grand scheme of things, you or any other person is special, or should be entitled to anything more than another. You will live a while, you will die. Perhaps you will even produce ‘mini-me’s’, but in the human experience on this mortal coil, it is what you do with your time here that matters.

No person should ever seek to gain through the pain of others. We are not entitled to believe our needs are greater than another. In doing this, one is judging the value of one person against another. It is a false measurement… an illusion.

We all live a while. We all die.
It is what you do with your time here that matters.

We all have talents… not all discover what theirs are. Some are more profound, others are not. Some are subtle, some are far from subtle! But all have the potential to improve the lives of other people. Follow your heart, find your talent, practice your talent, use your talent to lift the spirits of others.

We all live a while. We all die.
It is what you do with your time here that matters.

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Those who would laugh at you, ridicule your attempts to show them something of worth, mock you for the cheap trick of getting a laugh themselves; do they have something to offer that is greater?

If not, then don’t take their words to heart, they are merely jealous of your greater ability (…though they probably don’t realise it) and their jibes can be ignored, because if all they have to offer is derision without substance, then they have nothing to offer at all.

Be confidant with your gifts and skills.

Go forth and express your being; your self, show the world who and what you are!

Forgetting remembrance

Yesterday was November 11th – Remembrance Day, and as always, I found myself in two minds when observing two minutes of silence in remembrance of our fallen, as I also observe so many around me for whom those two minutes pass unheeded.
I always have the thought of “Why the hell haven’t they put in the miniscule amount of effort required to make sure that they each observe Remembrance!
Remembrance always puts me in a sombre mood, but in recent years it also leaves me with a smile.

What’s the smile for?
Well, for the very fact that those who do not make the EFFORT to observe the two minutes of silence, live in a world where they can do this!
They live in a world where the sacrifices made by those who died in the hope that our futures would be safe and free (whatever that really means today…!?), has become a real future… a future where they CAN be forgotten.

I think that if I had fought and died, I would have been happy that my children’s children and their grand-children could forget about my sacrifice if they were living in a world better than, for example, the one the Third Reich was trying to generate.
It would mean that my death had not been in vain.

Perhaps the forgetting to remember is actually an indication of a good thing… but I, for one, shall never forget.

I have, for some time, been considering becoming vegetarian, but I find myself at internal conflict.
I am a person of strong principles, but also of strong faith in my ideas (when I feel they are well enough researched).

The idea…:
Humans have incisors.
Humans have a digestive system suitable for extracting protein from meat.
Humans are capable of catching and killing animals.
It is pretty obvious that regardless of how a person chooses to think, that the human body/mind system is designed to eat, amongst other things, meat.

The faith…:
I strongly believe that a person who wishes to obtain the optimum performance from body and mind, and the greatest experience of this thing we call ‘life’, that they should attempt to live a lifestyle that approaches the state of only consuming natural foods, only training in natural movements, only living by cycles of natural rhythms, etc.
(Obviously, the extent that this can occur is down to how much a person is willing to commit to it.)
With this position, and the above ‘idea’, it becomes obvious that I believe that a person should eat meat.

The recent change…:
Over the years, my respect for living things has grown and grown. So far this has reached the level of saying to others ‘Don’t kill it!‘ when seeing that they are about to squash a spider, or fly, or wasp, etc.
Also, I have, for some time felt that a person shouldn’t be prepared to eat meat if they’re not prepared to kill the animal first.
This weekend, this feeling rose to another level when I thought of looking the creature in the eye before taking it’s life. I don’t think I could do it.
Today I found myself actively looking for vegetarian options instead of the usual meat based food that I so love.

The conflict…
So, I have a strong faith in the idea that I should eat meat, but now the developing principle has grown sufficiently that I am no longer willing to take the life of an animal simply because I like the flavour of its flesh; unless I’m literally starving to death, in which case I think it is definitely justified!

Hmm… I wonder where I’ll go from here…!

‘Forgiveness’ is the most natural of human instincts… or so was said in the film Revenge ‘.

This phrase made me think of the ‘survival’ bandwagon that we each so easily jump on.
Why should we forgive, when in survival terms it means forgetting the reasons we were first in rejection of that which guided us away from harm?
I’m intrigued by this thought, so ‘answers on a postcard’ please !

Is it possible to make a decision without emotion when the emotions of close friends or family will be affected?

If the decision was, say, to send a beloved car to the scrapheap, then it would be possible to remove the emotions from the decision, so that personal attachment and sentiment didn’t stop you making the right decision. The car will have no reciprocal emotions.
But when the decision involves the provocation of negative emotions in those close to you, is it possible to make the right decision without involving your own emotions?

If you want to give something great, then you do so knowing that it will make them feel good, but this is also done because you enjoy feeling good about the giving.
If you feel the need to take something valued away knowing that it will make them feel bad, then you won’t want to do the taking as it will also make you feel bad… and you know that it will also be a negative mark against the relationship whether this be short term or long.

7th Dec ’11 (taken from my personal journal)

Richard Bach said “Your life is yours, and yours alone. What you choose to do with it is up to you.

After a lot of thought about how one relates to, and how it fits in with family, I can no longer agree with this… although, in the past I strongly agreed – possibly a throwback to the BAMA way of thought…?

If the condition of partnership is applied, be it; lover, husband or wife, a person to live with, close friends, etc, then at the point that one enters into any of these relationships, one is giving away a part of their life to the other. But it is traded in trust that they are also giving you a part of their life.

The use of the word ‘life’ needs to be clarified here. It is used with the following intent:
When one chooses to partake in a lasting relationship, one is, by default, surrendering a part of themselves to allowing the actions, thoughts, ideas, loves and hates, desires, emotional attachments, etc, of another to have their subsequent effects (desired or otherwise) to affect one’s own way of life.
When choosing to partake in a close relationship  you are not only allowing another person into your life, but are also accepting that they are allowing you into their life. It is an agreement of trust and of mutual consent.
There is also a bond of trust that you will not walk away from a difficult situation, but that you will stay and fight their corner with them.

If a person later becomes a parent (intentionally or otherwise) then the same sharing of your life does not occur.
It is a different mechanism.
By becoming a parent, you are bringing into existence the life of another. You are not choosing to bond with them (although, that invariably occurs anyway), but you are placing yourself in the position of mentor, friend and disciplinarian… it might be argued by some that you own that life as it is an extension of your own.
However, I can only see that the viewpoint of ownership would create a relationship of dictator and subject… not a healthy one.

When it comes to relationships with work colleagues, fellow knitting club members, or similar, you start in the position as advocated by Richard Bach above, until you reach a position whereby you are acting as friend to individuals, or the group. At this point, you have again, given away a part of your life.
This becomes evident when frustration is felt when working hard on their behalf, but seeing that others are not giving help back.
The frustration is a product of you giving away a part of your life with the understanding that you will, in turn, be receiving a part of theirs. When this is not returned, negative emotions arise. One is then, eventually, faced with the decision of whether to stay as a part of the group, or to turn around and walk away.

So, it seems that one could live their life in the manner of Richard Bach’s maxim above, but they will find that they will never fit in with social or familial groups.
As a result, it seems that he is right in what he says, but what must be understood is that if one does not choose to sacrifice / give away / or share a part of their life with another, then it will be a lonely, less rewarding life.

13th September 2011 (taken from my personal journal)

In the past I have said that there is no right and wrong; it is only in the eye of the beholder.
I have said that Adolf Hitler must have believed in what he did, so he was right… in his eyes. But now my view has changed.

After watching the BBC series ‘Ocean Giants’ with the observed behaviour of dolphins and whales, and thinking back to other documentaries where primates appear to show a compassionate side to their nature, I now think that compassion and empathy are a fundamental part of what makes up mammals, and so the phrase ‘the eye of the beholder’ now has a much much wider scope because the ‘eye’ is now what is seen as acceptable behaviour by mentally stable (i.e. the majority) mammals… the meaning of the phrase now seems to go further than only humans. *

So, what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’ is now guided by that which is socially acceptable at the level of nature, not at the level of culture and of indoctrinated, dogmatic conditioning.

To clarify; to me it seems that those we would consider mentally stable are those that can interact in the normal manner (yes, this is subjective!) with the world around them, and it is those who’s actions are only rarely to the detriment of others, and even then it is an action that they would consider as acting for the ‘greater good’.
I apply this to forms of life other than solely human. 

* (added 16th Sept ’11)
…perhaps we, the human race, should start to consider ‘family’ as being beyond the human species, i.e. perhaps we should also include most, or all mammals.  I have often wondered why we see baby animals as ‘cute and cuddly’, but in my experience that applies even more so to baby mammals… and I have thought that this must be because we can identify with mammals more readily than we can with, say, baby crocodiles.

So, where we see baby dolphins and whales in the program mentioned above; and where we see baby monkeys, cats, dogs, horses, cows, chimpanzees… and we find them ‘cute and cuddly’ it is because we can identify with their mannerisms, their curiosity, their fears, and ultimately, their mental development as they seem to see the world in a more similar way to us than a baby crocodile. They also have a more familiar need for empathy and compassion and a sense of belonging and of acceptance.

They say that one can see into the soul of a man by looking into his eyes.  I think that we see something similar (maybe the same thing?) when we look at a baby mammal.
I specify mammals, because for me, I don’t get the same feeling if I look into the eyes of a baby reptile, bird, fish, spider, etc. I only get the feeling of cold detachment… like their soul is missing… like they are biological robots without feelings… maybe not so much with a bird, but the coldness is still there.

I’ve had one profound experience that would suggest the opposite to this though.  Whilst on holiday with Karen in Turkey in 1994 I went snorkelling around the submerged part of an old Roman building, and hiding in the place of a missing stone there was an Octopus (incidentally, this is a mollusc, not a mammal) with its legs wrapped protectively around itself leaving an eye looking out. I looked into its eye and made a connection with this creature.
I remember it feeling as if it was looking not at me, but into me. There was an intelligence of a high level. The experience was profound enough for me to promise the Octopus that I would no longer eat another one of its kind.

I’ve had one other very profound experience that would suggest the above connection with mammals is possible. I was visiting Bristol Zoo where a large silverback Gorilla was seated within easy sight of the visiting hordes. I was stood at the back of the crowd already feeling that I was doing the wrong thing and in the wrong place, when he and I made eye contact. The impact was immense and for a moment there was only he and I… then I walked out of there holding back the tears.  It was if this great magnificent creature had communicated the following to me;

I’m supposed to be the big strong one here, dominating everything around me, yet because of a little bit of glass I can’t get at those who jeer and point and laugh and make fun of me. I feel depressed and dejected and that I’m in the wrong place, and I know it, but I’m trapped and I can’t do anything about it.

… I haven’t been able to go in there since…

6th Sept ’11  (taken from my personal journal…)

I was just listening to Phil Collins’ song ‘Another Day in Paradise’ and I started crying with sadness – never happened before!… (and there I am in the middle of the office at work listening on my IPod…!)  but sadness of what?
The first two verses describe something that must happen every day in every city all over the world.

She calls out to the man on the street
Sir, can you help me?
It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep
There’s somewhere, you can tell me.

He walks on, doesn’t look back
He pretends he can’t hear her.
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
he’s embarrassed to be there.

The sadness I felt was because I couldn’t help but think of this as a true reflection of the shameful nature of many humans, as I too have ignored the homeless in the past in much the same way… and now, after hearing this, I feel guilty… and ashamed.
I take only a little solace in the fact that for a few years now, I haven’t ignored them, I have at least acknowledged them, but still, I have rarely helped.

Arrrgghhh!!  Where’s my compassion???  …from the tears, I suppose it’s growing…

How on earth did we (society) ever reach this position – where we ignore those who need help the most; probably needing more than we know how to give, but they are still asking… and we are still ignoring them
What will I do next time…?

I have money, I have a good life, I have the means to be able to help… I can’t walk away next time can I? …especially as I am trying to live a life of ‘doing that which is right’.

But what can I do??? …and what will you do now that you’ve read this???