Compassion - Social Justice
Compassion is sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
Tolerance is a True Measure of Compassion. Tolerance leads to compassion.
Tolerance is the ability to tolerate something, opinions or behavior that one does not agree with. It just means, accepting differences.
United Nations World Day of Social Justice on 20 February, recognizes that social development and social justice are indispensable and cannot be attained in the absence of peace and security or in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms. There are many true stories like doctors/nurses opening hospitals, where patients could seek treatment from qualified doctors, nurses and therapists despite their ability to pay. Each one is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Quotes on tolerance and compassion
- Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population."
-- Albert Einstein
- Nuremberg taught me that creating a world of tolerance and compassion would be a long and arduous task..." -- Benjamin Ferencz, Nuremberg prosecutor
- Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit. -- Mohandas Gandhi
- If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
Compassion is God
The word compassion is a compound word meaning with (con) passion (great love and pity).
Love, kindness, compassion and tolerance are qualities common to all the great religions
Tamil word anbu, means unconditional love or compassion. Kindness to others with out any expectation.
அன்பே சிவம், அருள், அறம், ஆனந்தம், பேரின்பம். அன்பான வாழ்வே தவம்.
அன்பினால் அடையமுடியாதது எதுவுமே இல்லை. அன்புதான் இறைவன்.
Above Tamil text means: Compassion is God (sivam), best gift, righteousness, happiness and bliss. Compassionate life is the best penance.
அன்பும் சிவமும் இரண்டென்பர் அறிவிலார் |
அன்பேசிவமாவது யாரும் அறிகிலார்
அன்பேசிவமாவது யாரும் அறிந்தபின் |
அன்பேசிவமாய் அமர்ந்திருந்தாரே - திருமந்திரம் By Thirumoolar
Above Tamil text means: Only the ignorant will think that love or compassion and God (Sivam) are two different things; only few really understand that Sivam is nothing but love; once everyone understands that Sivam is nothing but love, everyone will become saintly or become Siva (God).
Tara the Tibetan and Hindu Goddess of compassion, originated as a Great Goddess and the Mother Creator. Tara is also associated with Kuan Yin, the great Chinese goddess of compassion. Her compassion for living beings, her desire to save them from suffering, is said to be even stronger than a mother's love for her children.
Hindu God, Shiva, out of compassion took poison to save others. Many siddhas (healers) of south India, tried different herbs to find out medicinal properties to cure others at the cost of their health. A saint, to test compassionate nature of Vishnu, places his foot in the middle of his chest. Vishnu awakens and grabs the sage's foot, and then begins massaging it, apologizing for having such a hard chest and causing the saint discomfort. The sacred chants Vaishnava Jan Tho, says that a Vaishnavist "is one who knows the pain of others, who does good to others who are in misery".
There are many saints who discuss imortance of compassion. Thiru Arutprakasa Vallalar of Vadalur insists that God's Grace can be obtained only by leading a life of compassion towards all living beings and not by any other means.
Compassion is a feeling deep within ourselves —a "quivering of the heart" — and it is also a way of acting — being affected by the suffering of others and moving on their behalf. There are stories by Tolstoy on compassion like The Three Questions and What Men Live By.
"Ar-Raḥmān" in arbic means The Exceedingly Compassionate, The Exceedingly Beneficent, The Exceedingly Gracious (to all of humanity and all creatures).
Buddha and Jesus are the most well known exemplars of compassion
Compassion is the central ethical virtue, that developed from their teachings.
Good Samaritan - Love with out expectation - by Jesus
Through the parable of the Good Samaritan, our responsibility for our fellow travellers (people around us in the journey of life). We have to be like the Samaritan and compassion is not limited to those of his own nationality, race or religion. By showing mercy to any one, you can becomes their neighbour. Neighbour is next to you, who needs your help.
Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
Jesus had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
A Samaritan, as he journeyed, came across a wounded fellow traveller, who needs his help. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. He puts him up at his own expense and makes sure that he’s taken care of. He gives the innkeeper some money and asked the innkeeper to take care of him. He promised the innkeeper to repay him if there is any more payment to be made, when he returns. He does not expect any thing in return, not even a thank you. He feels that he is just doing his duty. It is the help done with dignity in mind, to any person in trouble and in need.
Prodigal Son by Jesus
We could call it the Father of the Prodigal Son because the son took his inheritance and squandered it all and that was basically an insult to the father as the son was essentially saying “I wish you were dead give me my inheritance now.” The son does not deserve the Father’s mercy, yet the Father had been waiting and looking for the son.
When dissolute living had reduced him to penury, and his new friends had deserted him, he was forced to take the most menial form of employment. His desperate state brought him to repentance. He realized not only that he had landed himself in sorry straits but also that he was unworthy to be called his father's son; he was fit only to be a servant, and he was prepared to humble himself and seek reinstatement at that level.
But before he reached home his father was already looking for his arrival, and before he could blurt out the whole of his intended confession, his father had welcomed him back into the family circle, treated him with great honour, and given orders for a feast of rejoicing over the return of one who had been as good as dead.
The Lost Sheep
Something has been lost: a sheep. Just one sheep. Why not write it off? There are still ninety-nine left. The loss is only one percent, and in any business you have to expect a certain percentage of loss.
Life is not a business. The lost sheep remains valuable to its owner and determined to recover it. God is the shepherd, loves every one of us and will take care of us. The emphasis here is on the worth of each individual.
compassion and humility
You will be humble when you are compassionate about others. Live in harmony, being sympathetic, loving as brothers, and to be compassionate and humble. The Greek word for sympathy is “sympathies” meaning “suffering or feeling the like with another”.
Quotes by Jesus
- Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. This verse a free us from the burden of taking justice into our own hands and hurting one self with vengeance and anger.
- Teach a Man to Fish, so that one can lead a dignified life - The saying goes that if you give a man a fish, you have fed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish, you have fed him for a lifetime. Do not make one a beggar, but a dignified citizen
Life work of Buddha was an act of compassion and he was agitated to see suffering, due to old age, disease, and death. The Buddha taught that to realize enlightenment, a person must develop two qualities: wisdom and compassion.
The spirit of Ahimsa (non-violence) was ever present with Gautama from his very childhood. One day, his cousin Devadatta shot a bird. The poor creature was hurt and fell to the ground. Gautama ran forward, picked it up and refused to hand it over to his cousin. The quarrel was taken up before the Rajaguru who, however, decided in favour of Gautama to the great humiliation of Devadatta.
Shepherds were driving the herd to Rajagaha to be sacrificed in a fire ceremony. One little lamb was injured. Out of compassion Siddhartha picked up the lamb and followed the shepherds to the city for sacrifice. aKing Bimbisara and a group of priests were worshipping and the leader of the fire-worshippers lifted his sword to kill the first sheep. Buddha asked the king not to let the worshippers destroy the lives of the poor animals, as Life is extremely precious. He continued that If people expect mercy, they should show mercy. He completely changed the king’s mind, and preached all about the futility of sacrifices, the sanctity of life and the importance of kindness to all being.Buddha stopped animal sacrifices, as one can not delight God by killing innocent life forms.
Love, compassion, and tolerance
Buddha stressed on “Love, compassion, and tolerance as basics, not and without them, humanity cannot survive.” He always emphasized a balance of wisdom and compassion: a good brain and a good heart should work together. Intolerance is due to narrow perspectives and beliefs, and not understanding that "Individual differences are way of life". His life showed that Compassion is the way to attain happiness (Feel happy by doing good or not harming others). His selected quotes are:
- Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.
- Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.
- Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.
- What we think, we become.
Conflicts and Compassion
Wars or violence can not solve any problem. Stronger party should try to push for peaceful settlement at the earliest. There is no right or wrong in a war. What is left in the end matters. Most of the empires like mughal or british are created and sustained by a large scale war followed by criminal administration. Tolstoyan view "war is under all circumstances a crime".
The prediction of large scale wars was delivered in 1901 at the Royal United Service Institution, a military think tank by Jean de Bloch. Bloch was not a military man, but a banker and financier, who was born in Poland in 1836 and he was an important figure in Russia’s railway system and took an interest in international affairs. He called for arbitration to replace warfare as a way of settling disputes and organised a peace conference at The Hague in 1899 to further that aim. He argued that (in modern warfare) it would be impossible for major wars to be won, especially general European conflicts, without huge casualties and lot of human sufferings. One war will only lead to other war. Bertrand Russell's activism against British participation in World War I led to fines.
Bertrand Russell talks of four types of wars: (1) Wars of Colonization; (2) Wars of Principle; (3) Wars of Self-defence; (4) Wars of Prestige. Each country believes that its own victory is both certain and of great importance to mankind. Every strategist assures us that the true defence is offence. Every great nation or empire believes that they can only guarantee world's peace and order. There have been thousands of peace activists who have proactively advocated diplomatic and non-military resolution of major territorial or ideological disputes. Emile Arnaud, French peace campaigner, coined the word "Pacifism" Andrew Carnegie started Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. These efforts have received very little attention.