The Dhamma of Compassion:
Compassion is defined as “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.”
In Buddhism we are taught to practice engendering compassion for ALL sentient beings. This means compassion for ants and slugs, as well as your family and friends. Even your greatest rivals, dictators, Trump and Blare, deserve our compassion. They all suffer as we do. They, especially animals and the likes of Trump and Blare, are ignorant of the Dhamma, they are ignorant of the effects their actions have, they are ignorant of the suffering they cause to other sentient beings. Even Theresa May deserves compassion although she is trying to destroy the NHS. She is causing untold suffering to millions, yet she is totally ignorant of the kammic repercussions she can expect; therefore she deserves our compassion.
Compassion can also mean saying ‘no’ to someone. It does not mean we have to bend over backwards to give everything we can to someone. Sometimes the greatest love you can show an individual is the ability to say ‘no more’. It hands responsibility for their predicament back into their own hands and helps make them a stronger and more responsible individual. Saying ‘no’ is not a bad thing, in the right context.
Many people have difficulty with the concept of universal compassion, believing that certain individuls do not deserve it, but this is a fallacy. We have all already been where those individuals are now in past lives. We have, and still do, deserve compassion. It is our universal ignorance of the Dhamma, and the kammic repercussions, that almost demands compassion should be shown. Care for our fellow-man and all other sentient beings is a must, no matter what level they are at, tramp or king, slug or elephant. We all deserve compassion.