compassionI received the following Daily Now Moment in my inbox today:

It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.” ~ Dalai Lama

Take some action with compassion today and remember, we are more connected than we know so a small gesture can have ripple effects across a multitude of people.

The recent post “The Science Behind Why Everything We Do Matters” received widespread attention and there’s a reason for this.

On the deepest level, we all want to believe that what we do matters and in fact it does. There’s actual science that shows how our acts have ripple effects across many people.

When people are experiencing compassion, the act of putting ourselves in another’s shoes with the inclination to help in some way, it’s associated with feeling good. There’s a shift in activity to the left prefrontal cortex which is also associated with a host of other positive emotions.

Cultivating the skill of compassion is beneficial to us individually, but as the Dalai Lama says, that’s not enough, “You must act.”

Here’s how you can start acting on your compassion: 

  1. Prepare- Allow your mind to open and free associate on the question,“What do you care about in this world?”
    Is it the planet? People who are struggling to eat? Strengthening your spiritual community? Supporting resiliency in children?
  2. Plan – Research ways to get involved in these causes.
  3. Act – Get involved whether it’s just contributing small amounts of money on a regular basis, finding ways to act in accordance with these values in your personal life, or getting involved with an organization that supports the cause.

That’s it; sometimes life is just that simple.

Your mind may think of 101 reasons that you can’t do this right now, but five or ten years from now that older and wiser you would tell you to start now. The wisdom has always been inside you; it’s just about tapping into it and listening.

When you get in touch with a sense of purpose in this world, everything around you begins to change.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Serving food photo available from Shutterstock

 


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    Last reviewed: 5 Oct 2012

APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2012). It’s Not Enough to Be Compassionate. You Must Act. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2012/10/it-is-not-enough-to-be-compassionate-you-must-act/

 

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