Reflections about Learning Compassion

Carol A. Hand

A fervent wish –
May the bullies and narcissists
of the world
both the petty and the powerful
one day awaken
and realize
with piercing empathic pain
the harm they have done
to others and the earth
and with great sorrow
they are teaching
their children
to do
the same


Narcissus (1590s) by Caravaggio (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome), Public Domain, Wikipedia



27 thoughts on “Reflections about Learning Compassion

    1. Thank you for your kind words and blessings, Lorrie. ❤

      It is sometimes painful to live in this world, witnessing and feeling so much unnecessary suffering, observing deliberate or unconscious indifference or cruelty. Today I just needed to share my honest feelings.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I get it. It is overwhelming to me at times. It is so hard for me to completely turn off the news, but sometimes I just can’t stand to hear it…feel it!!
        I was watching an old Wayne Dyer video yesterday about intention and he purposefully said that sometimes you have to do just that…TURN IT OFF…STOP THINKING ABOUT IT…and posed the question would we rather see the world as loving and kind or as hateful and dangerous.
        I don’t have the perfect recipe yet…because it is hard to ignore what is plainly seen.

        Sending you compassion, love and healing!

        Liked by 3 people

  1. In my experience as a foster parent/carer, it’s usually the home-base where the acceptance of such behaviour is demonstrated until it becomes normalised.
    Breaking that cycle – it takes a village …

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I fervently second that wish, Carol, though I do so with great reluctance and sadness, for it is never my intention to wish harm on another. Dharma, however, is earned, and so they certainly have earned a moment of truthful, honest empathic experience, having demonstrated so little compassion for the world, and the others who share it with them…

    And I would add a fervent desire to share in the healing that such an experience might prompt…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Lisa. Lately, I have been contemplating the meaning of the Reiki principle “be kind to yourself and all others,” or “be kind to every living thing.” It seems like an impossible challenge on the surface in the world as it is. As trees die and animal species become extinct, as oceans and streams fill with garbage and air becomes toxic in the pursuit of power and pleasure, is it kind to remain silent? Is it unkind to wish for those who cause harm to become aware and feel the pain they cause? I honestly don’t have the answer, but I do often feel anguish for those who have and are suffering.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I do as well, Carol, so I understand your conflicted feelings. Mine are just as confused these days. For I truly wish no harm to any living being, but neither can I tolerate the suffering of so many for the enrichment of so few…

        Liked by 4 people

  3. Loved this piece. More than Bullies, it’s our proximity to Narcissists that worries me. They stay right there in our phone – on Instagram and Snapchat. The young impressionable minds often fall prey to this.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. “with piercing empathic pain” – I could literally write a novel based on that line alone. We are experiencing the implosion of our greater global civilization that began tens of thousands of years ago, and not just local implosions. Nature/Life is pushing us to become empathetic beings, the wherewithal is within all of us individually and we are approaching what I have called “the final crossroads” where we choose compassion as our new way of interaction or we choose death in narcissistic decadence. The “powers” are pushing us towards death and so far we are, as a civilization, going along with it because it is the old tried and “true” downhill slide. If we were to choose compassion as a way of life we would then awaken our sense of empathy and as you say, we would feel all the pain others (all life) must experience to sustain our habits, lusts, greeds. At this point, as a civilization, the vast majority is choosing death because they fail to see it as such. Many believe that a bit of tweaking here and there, switching formulas on how our consumer lusts are satisfied, will do the trick. It will not. We need to change our individual ways. Our corrupt “leaders” are not the problem, they are the symptom, the symbol of our own individual decadence and lack of will power to change, to really change.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I can’t help wondering about the profound cultural contrasts between European institutions focused on “criminal justice” and Indigenous practices of “restorative justice.” My question is this. If one is socialized to accept that all one’s relations are more than an error in judgement that harms others, is “healing” one’s self and relationships easier to envision and choose? If people are viewed as beings born in a state of original sanctity rather than a state of original sin, is the choice of “healing” more likely? Just wondering…

      Liked by 2 people

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