“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” – Theodore Parker
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by global devastation and fall into pessimism. This is not an uncommon reaction to everything that’s going on in the world, especially right now.
I’m trying to wrap my head around our capacity for human compassion. Compassion is a universal value. There is an Ancient African philosophy called Ubuntu that is defined, according to Desmond Tutu (Archbishop of South Africa), as: a person is a person through other persons, that our humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with others’.
“How do we help people who really want to be joyful, who really want to see the world a better place? They look at the world and see the horrendous problems there are. And they face quite extraordinary adversity in their own lives. Why are you joyful even when you see these problems and have faced these challenges? …I mean, how do they have this calm in the midst of it all?”
Suffering. It’s a sensitive topic. The Dali Lama explains that so much of what causes heartache is our desire for things to be different than what they are. We have perceptions about our reality, and we judge them. For those who are suffering, forgive our happiness.
“Something is lacking. As one of the seven billion human beings, I believe everyone has the responsibility to develop a happier world. We need, ultimately, to have a greater concern for others’ well-being. In other words, kindness or compassion, which is lacking now. We must pay more attention to our inner values. We must look inside.”
― Dalai Lama XIV,