“Compassion is the basis of all morality.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
We see hate and violence everywhere and we feel powerless to stop it. While it is impossible for any one of us to call a worldwide ceasefire, we can offer kindness, care, empathy, and love. Kindness can fill the void that hate leaves behind and can bring light to the dark of ignorance and violence.
Like so many, I am in terrible pain to learn of yet another shooting, taking the lives of innocent people. The police kill innocent people, terrorists kill innocent people, and seemingly regular people kill innocent people. Political figures spew hate-filled messages and social media is rife with support for racism, rape culture, and bigotry. It can feel like the world is turning inside out.
When we feel hopeless and overcome with pain, let us turn our efforts away from blaming and towards empathy. It is through compassion and understanding that each of us can change the seething tides of anger and hate.
Consider doing something kind today – in the next ten minutes – if you can. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, offer to buy lunch for your coworker, put money in the next expired parking meter you see. None of these acts need to be grand or heroic, they just need to happen. Be the antidote to intolerance and killing. Practice patience. Resist the temptation to meet fire with fire. Know that you can start kindness at any moment, regardless of what has come immediately before. Find love and warmth wherever they hide, nurture them, and share them with as many as you can.
“Love and hate are beasts and the one that grows is the one you feed.” – Shane Koyczan