This article is part of a series of articles within the Soul Master Handbook. Each article represents an aspect or a quality of the soul. Taking a deeper look at these qualities will provide an opportunity for readers to touch a part of their soul that they may have not yet touched or experienced. Once touched, the road continues to widen and straighten as we go forward in becoming the master of our own soul.
Being kind to others is a root teaching in every major religion. In fact, the essence of a moral society is based on the precepts of the Golden Rule.
From the Talmud: What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
From Buddhist Text: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
From the Bible: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
But, don’t confuse the Golden Rule of “Do unto others” as an automatic act of compassion. When the intention behind our deeds are self- serving or come from a place of scarcity or need, we may be hurting ourselves and others in the process. And, very often, we are so uncompassionate to ourselves, that we would not be doing anybody any favors by treating others the same way we treat ourselves. Even though we intuitively know that we should always be kind and loving to others, unless it comes from an authentic golden heart, it is not true compassion, but a nice acting job. Certainly, acting compassionate is a much better alternative than being ugly and mean to someone (or yourself), but true compassion is a quality of love, which is always truthful and pure.
Genuine compassion always begins within you. We simply cannot demonstrate genuine compassion towards others without a deep abiding compassion for our own life and being. When we can forgive, empathize, show mercy and loving kindness to ourselves and our past choices, then we can extend this compassion out to others unconditionally. Compassion is a compulsion to extend goodwill towards others from a heart and soul that overflows with the love of oneself.
Despite this truth about authentic compassion, extending compassion to others, even if from a need of our own, generates an energy that has a healing component for all. The power and wisdom within the Golden Rule is in the reciprocity of the rule, in fact, you might say it is a Universal Law. What we give freely, we receive freely, including our generous spirit, love and compassion. So, the circle is complete when we live our lives in compassion to others and to ourselves. All compassion is beneficial, but the healing benefits we get from giving authentically is a compassionate way to treat ourselves as well.
The reason authenticity and genuineness of intent is so important when extending compassion is when we do not act with authenticity, the reciprocity component of the act is disturbed. Showing compassion to others inauthentically may help a person in need, and perhaps that person will never learn that your intention was for your own glory or gratification, but you will know. If you show compassion because you need to feel “better” than others or you need to be recognized for your contribution, what sort of reciprocity do you think will be generated? We cannot get filled up from an empty gesture, even if our gesture did in fact help out someone else, the cycle gets broken.
There is no greater thing one can do for another than extend a truthful act of compassion with a lovely unconditional intent. You may never know how deep and healing your compassion has touched someone. Here is a short story by Dan Clark that touched me deeply to demonstrate truthful compassion that touches everyone.
Once when I was a teenager, my father and I were standing in line to buy tickets for the circus. Finally, there was only one family between us and the ticket counter. This family made a big impression on me. There were eight children, all probably under the age of 12. You could tell they didn’t have a lot of money. Their clothes were not expensive, but they were clean. The children were well-behaved, all of them standing in line, two-by- two behind their parents, holding hands. They were excitedly jabbering about the clowns, elephants and other acts they would see that night. One could sense they had never been to the circus before. It promised to be a highlight of their young lives.
The father and mother were at the head of the pack standing proud as could be. The mother was holding her husband’s hand, looking up at him as if to say, “You’re my knight in shining armor.” He was smiling and basking in pride, looking at her as if to reply, “You got that right.”
The ticket lady asked the father how many tickets he wanted. He proudly responded, “Please let me buy eight children’s tickets and two adult tickets so I can take my family to the circus.”
The ticket lady quoted the price.
The man’s wife let go of his hand, her head dropped, the man’s lip began to quiver. The father leaned a little closer and asked, “How much did you say?”
The ticket lady again quoted the price.
The man didn’t have enough money.
How was he supposed to turn and tell his eight kids that he didn’t have enough money to take them to the circus?
Seeing what was going on, my dad put his hand into his pocket, pulled out a $20 bill and dropped it on the ground. (We were not wealthy in any sense of the word!) My father reached down, picked up the bill, tapped the man on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, sir, this fell out of your pocket.”
The man knew what was going on. He wasn’t begging for a handout but certainly appreciated the help in a desperate, heartbreaking, embarrassing situation. He looked straight into my dad’s eyes, took my dad’s hand in both of his, squeezed tightly onto the $20 bill, and with his lip quivering and a tear streaming down his cheek, he replied, “Thank you, thank you, sir. This really means a lot to me and my family.”
My father and I went back to our car and drove home. We didn’t go to the circus that night, but we didn’t go without.
The Soul Master acts from a truthful compassionate soul. This means that first; he/she is feeling deep love and compassion for the self, the divine being and gifted beloved of the Creator. Take some time to focus on your own compassion and treat yourself as you would wish others to treat you, with forgiveness, love, and gentle kindness. When the heart is full, it is so natural and easy to extend compassion to others, and by touching them, teach them to also touch others in compassion. This is the circle of compassion, the fulfilling of the Golden Rule and the Soul Master’s way.
Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world. – Buddha
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