Friday, March 9, 2012

Step 2: Look at Your Own World

      To me, this step is about looking forward and out at all the potential good that could be done with Compassion.  It is also about looking at the world, and my world, with Compassion.

      There are many subjects upon which I naturally look with Compassion:  animals, babies, downtrodden individuals - you know, the easy ones.  I was going to say my friends and family, but, as this Chapter of Compassionate Life discusses, that's not always true.  Sometimes we judge our friends and family members even more harshly than we do others.  I think I'm compassionate with my loved ones most of the time, but I am also certain that I am guilty of the opposite at times.

      Like the previous step, this step is broken up into smaller sections.  The auther, Karen Armstrong, recommends looking at your own world through the varying lenses of the Confusian Concentric Circles:
Family is the center circle inside the Community circle, which is inside the Country circle (which would then be inside the World circle, Galaxy circle, and so on, but the book doesn't take it that far - I will not be writing a post about Compassion for extraterrestrials.).

      While I spent all of the month of February re-examining these various areas of my life and putting this step into practice, I waffled a lot about writing it.  The family step in particular is extremely personal and involves examing percieved flaws in people and relationships.  Not something I really want to be putting out there on the internet.  That said, I think to stay true to the form I am still going to write the 3 posts for step 2, focusing more on improvements than individuals.  If I'm lucky, I'll finish the step 2 posts (which are technically the Feburary posts) by the end of March ;-).


  1. I totally explain it in full detail you'd have to give info that is too personal to your family.

  2. I've been thinking a lot about this as I've been reading Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project. I was just reading a chapter where she talked about treating other people better than we treat those closest to us. I think part of it is because we trust that the people who love us the most will forgive our flaws, and also because we see their flaws in the most magnified settings. But I need to make a more concerted effort to be nicer to my loved ones.