About an hour from me right now, in Canada’s capital of Ottawa, there is a convoy of truckers parked at the seat of our government to protest vaccination mandates that remain in place. Maybe you’ve heard of this on the news already?
I won’t get into what I think of the rally but I can say that I am so deeply disappointed because people are getting real nasty over which “side” is right, as if everything were black and white. In that process, people are losing all sense of compassion for each other.
In his book The Body: A Guide for Occupants, Bill Bryson talks about how compassion can have a real impact on people. One example: “A study in New Zealand of diabetic patients in 2016 found that the proportion suffering severe complications was 40 percent lower among patients treated by doctors rated high for compassion.”
Compassion doesn’t only benefit the person receiving it. A team of scientists that studied the neurobiology of compassions showed that being sensitive to another person’s suffering had this to say: “When a person is thinking compassionate thoughts, we see increased activity in specific areas of the brain. The areas we see light up are the ones that are associated with reward or pleasure.”
This has me thinking about what role can compassion play in healing our planet, and lessening human suffering?
We see the devastating impacts of things like climate change, of plastic pollution, unsustainable waste, and natural resource depletion. While the earth is certainly worse for wear, it’s real people who are paying the price. I think of the people in the Philippines that are decimated by increasingly savage typhoons, or those displaced by wildfires and flooding in Western Canada, or those who lost their lives in European countries in unprecedented heat waves.
If we think of those people—and everyone else around the world—with true compassion, then we are more likely to change our behaviours, right?
From where we stand, lowering our waste, reducing our plastic is part of being compassionate to the world—and to each other.
Are you with us?
Click here to show love to your earth 🌍❤️