When we resolve to embrace compassion as a way of life, a whole new world can open up to us. Just like a butterfly, whose antennae are tuned to sense the flowers that contain the tastiest nectar,
we can tune invisible “antennae” to detect compassion.
The stresses of everyday life and the often-negative perspective of global media can sometimes cause us to see the world as a dark and threatening place. When we exercise our compassion antennae, we become attuned to the light beyond the darkness. Our world-view begins to change.
Look out for acts of compassion and you will begin to see them everywhere: The waitress who brings coffee to the Big Issue seller outside her café. The child in the queue who shares his toy with the bored toddler in front of him. The bus driver who re-opens her doors for the man running across the road. Engage with others in the spirit of compassion and notice how they respond in kind. Look for the positive posts on social media, and choose to follow those who post these, rather than the more negative options.
Sometimes through doing this we may also find we become more sensitive to where compassion is lacking. This is natural, but it’s not our focus for today. For now, just note the compassionate action you witness. Tell others about it. Encourage them to tune their compassion antennae and share their observations with you.
Human Beings are hard-wired for compassion, and we need to reconnect with this natural instinct. Noticing and sharing examples of compassion are an excellent place to start.
Tam Martin Fowles
Originally broadcast on BBC Radio Devon Pause for Thought