Being Compassionate is Hard

I’ve always been interested in decision making and the science behind it, specifically the reasoning behind people making certain choices. I’m not really sure why I’m interested in it. (Ironically enough, I’m sure if I looked deep enough into it, there’s some subconscious reason or other reason that I’m not thinking about) and in reading about decision making, one of the larger themes that I’ve seen is that people are lazy, they generally do what is easiest for them, which makes sense, because who would intentionally do something that make things hard on themselves?

Where compassion comes into this, is that generally the easiest thing to do is blame shortfalls on others, or incorrectly guess a reason behind someone else’s actions. This means that being negative is easy, blaming problems on others is easy, but taking accountability for our actions is hard. It’s hard because people generally think of themselves as infallible and would rather attribute negative events to others. It also is easier to assume that someone else is making an action that you wouldn’t make and their reasoning behind the action is something that fits your story of the person doing something wrong.

For example, “That guy just cut me off, because he is an asshole.” In order to make yourself feel better, you are assuming the guy cut you off because he is a bad person, or at least not as good of a person as you are. While this explanation might make you feel good in the short run, if you start looking at yourself more, you may realize that you aren’t perfect or the best person ever, and this is a tough realization.

The more that I type this out, the more I realize that I am talking about myself. Recently my mindfulness practice has had me taking a deeper longer look at myself, and it has been tough because I am slowly realizing that I am not the person I thought I was. While this realization has shocked my system, and caused me to project negative feelings on others, now that I’m writing it out, I actually do feel much better about myself.

So while being mindful may lead to more happiness in the long run, I think that it has been tough on me in the short run, because being compassionate is hard. I am attempting to live my life more compassionate but it is much harder than living life with negativity.

 

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