Where Can We Find Compassion?

We don’t have to go anywhere to find compassion. Not to a Himalayan monastery or even a meditation retreat. We don’t have to sit at the foot of a guru or stand on our heads. We won’t find compassion in a book or a blog or an inspirational quotation.

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There is only one place to practice compassion: the one you’re in. You can never leave this place, but you can turn it inside out. Do you want to live in friendship or fear? Paradise or paranoia? We are each citizens of the place we make, so make it a better place. Here are 14 ways to practice compassion today on your way home for dinner.

1. At the grocery store, give your place in line to the person behind you.

2. Ask the checker how her day is going, and mean it.

3. On the way out, give your pocket money to the solicitor at the card table no matter what the cause.

4. Buy a cup of lemonade from the kids on the sidewalk stand. Buy two cups. Tell them to keep the change.

5. Roll down your car window when you see the homeless man on the corner with the sign. Give him money. Have no concern over what he will do with it.

6. Smile at him. It will be the first smile he has seen in a very long time.

7. Do not curse your neighbor’s tall grass, weeds, foul temperament or house color. Given time, things change by themselves. Even your annoyance.

8. Thank the garbageman. Be patient with the postal worker.

9. Leave the empty parking space for someone else to take. They will feel lucky.

10. Talk to strangers about the weather.

11. Allow others to be themselves, with their own point of view. If you judge them, you are in error.

12. Do not let difference make a difference.

13. Do not despair over the futility of your impact or question the outcome.

14. Love the world you walk, ride and drive around in, and make it your home. It’s the only world you’ll ever live in, and you have all the love in it.

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