By Lori Lines
Everything we do, think, and say has a profound effect - particularly on our own character, but also in the lives of others. With that recognition comes a responsibility to tend to our minds with great care.
All we do and think shapes the quality of our character, and for that reason it's vitally important to be attentive to what we put in our minds and what we allow them to dwell on.
Our species is at a critical juncture in its evolution. Perhaps because of our fragility, we always seem to be at a critical juncture. Today, we face a great many global crises: addressing the great inequities between rich and poor, providing adequate food and health care to all people, dealing with serious environmental issues, coping with acts of terrorism, and coming to terms with a religious pluralistic world in which misunderstandings often lead to hatred.
If there was ever a time that we need to practice compassion, it's now. The problem is that many of us are not yet convinced of its importance, or if we are, we are insufficiently trained in how to practice it. Being mindful of our thoughts offers one very compelling way for us to grasp the importance of compassion and to learn how to implement it in our everyday life.
A growing number of people around the world are beginning to see the necessity for us to devote more deliberate attention and study to the practice of compassion as a way to help address these massive issues that face us.
Exercising compassion and kindness is one practice that the core of every religious tradition affirms. Religions may not be able to agree about the nature and existence of God, or they may have differing views of the soul and the ultimate destiny of human life. Religions certainly profess different doctrines and perform different rituals and ceremonies, but the importance of being kind to others and oneself - they seem to be in accord.
One of the central insights in a mindful practice is seeing the interrelatedness of reality. Once you see how your life is closely connected with that of others, you recognize that it is only with their support that you are able to do anything at all.
May each and every person - and, indeed, may all beings - be well and happy.
© Lori Lines, All Rights Reserved. 2014
Author Lori Lines
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