Can Selfishness and Compassion Live Together?
But think about it, going by that belief we are only treating others fairly because it is the way we would want to be treated. We, I, become the driving force of that thought and action. Does that mean we only treat others well because we believe it will come back to us? Then what happens when we are cut off in traffic or treated poorly? Does that mean we have the right to retaliate or to pass that hatred on to others?
My husband and I were discussing something similar to this, and what he said has stuck with me for a while. He said, “Why not treat others as they would want to be treated.” That statement stopped me in tracks. Of course! That put others as the center focus of our intentions and actions. Is that where true compassion lives? I often wonder if we all are just following unwritten rules to be kind, and how many of us truly believe and feel being kind is a way of life. Do we have enough compassion inside us to want to be kind to others?
What is compassion? American Heritage Dictionary defines compassion as, ”The ability to identify with or understand the perspective, experiences, or motivations of another individual and to comprehend and share another individual’s emotional state.”
Why are you kind or compassionate towards others? Does that extend to every one and to non-human animals? I would love to hear your thoughts! This is something I am going to continue to think about and explore.
Hi! I am Kristy. I live in Vancouver, Washington with my husband, Steve, three companion cats and one guinea pig. I became a vegetarian in 2012 and have been vegan since 2014. Since 2012, I have opened myself up to new experiences and new ways of thinking. I earned a Master of Arts in Humane Education through the Institute for Humane Education. Find out more >>