“While pity shows a lack of respect for other human beings, compassion has its roots in a deep respect for others. Pity is an emotion; compassion is a connection. Compassion sees the other as equal. Compassion happens when we care for another person enough to make his or her problems our own.”
― Matt Litton
In the past couple of weeks I have met people who have presented me with an interesting paradox. They simultaneously demand both pity and respect and tho I try hard I just can’t do it. Oh I can feel compassion for them easily enough. I know their lives and know that while they have it rough, so much of their suffering is self-inflicted. Yet they don’t seem to wish for their suffering to end as much as they want people to feel sorry for them and take care of them. Then they resent the people helping them and push them away and then berate their would be benefactors for their lack of respect and bemoan their fate. It’s a cycle that’s rough.
But then we humans are a contrary lot and often the major things we have to work out end up paradoxical in some way. Whether we need self-esteem, connection or openness, we find the oddest ways to stop ourselves from getting them. May all beings be released from suffering indeed. Especially that which we inflict on ourselves.
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