Forgiveness and Compassion

November 29, 2010
posted by Admin

On Thursday morning I attended a United Nations celebration of the one year anniversary of The Charter For Compassion honoring Karen Armstrong. As you may know, I was invited by my friend and partner, Fred Luskin. I sat and listened carefully to all of the speakers. The theme that stood out in my mind is this: Forgiveness and compassion in the abstract doesn’t work.
Forgiveness and compassion cannot just be ideals that we try to attain, but rather they must be practiced in a daily way. When Fred spoke he referred to the Forgiveness training program as a model for interpersonal healing through forgiveness which is very much a part of compassion. Fred explained that forgiveness is a central part of the cultivation of compassion because forgiveness brings us back to our heart, the seat of compassion.
Our practice must begin by loving and being patient and kind to the individuals that are closest to us, those we live and work with daily. If we are to take forgiveness and compassion seriously, we must allow ourselves to become vulnerable with those we live with. Becoming vulnerable naturally brings about honesty in a relationship. Honesty is a magical energy that purifies our minds and souls. Honesty allows us to be real with those we love and therefore, we live more truly in our own skin!
I feel strongly with Forgiveness and Compassion when it is rooted in living, struggling, suffering people because that is who we are! “World peace must rest on the solid foundation of love between individuals.” Gandhi. It is this individual focus which makes forgiveness and compassion more believable to me.

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