What matters to you? Is there one thing that you value/hope for/work for above all else? Is there a quality that defines you or are you just a massive, seething ball of all your beliefs and experiences? I think it's the first one and here's why.
This morning I'm thinking about all the connections that led me to go vegan for life. And the amazing thing is that as I look back on my journey, I can very clearly see how all my convictions are actually unified and related. Now, I'm nobody special. Just a human being like everyone else. That's why I figure, it must be the same for everyone.
I was a very little girl when I first learned where the meat and fish on my plate came from, how polluted our world is, how much we humans manipulate nature, how much corruption there is and how many people go hungry every night. Now, I didn't know way back then that all of the things that horrified me about the world were connected. Still, I find it interesting that even as a very young child, my path was settled.
When it comes down to the nitty gritty, there is truly one thing that drives me. It acts as a hub for all my convictions. That thing is, of course, compassion. Everything that matters to me comes under the heading of compassion. Everything I abhor represents a lack of compassion.
Nothing really matters to me, except....compassion.
*I detest bullying, superiority and the putting on of airs.
*I am not amused by bad-mouthing and mean spirited criticism.
*Getting even is not important to me. Now, show me that you are strong enough to mend/end a heated dispute and you will have my utmost respect.
*Money, power, looks and fame do not impress me.
*Good character blows me away!
*Bragging simply proves to me that there is little to brag about.
*Having a degree, certification, etc. often means you will better integrate and conform. You will have a financial advantage over those who don't. It does not mean that you are smarter, work harder, shine brighter or are of better character than those who do not have it. It just means you have chosen a different path than they have. We all work hard in this life because life is hard for us all.
*I'm not impressed with how well you fit into or are able to manipulate this broken society. I am impressed with those who see it for the horrific lie it is and refuse to be a part of it.
*I am not perfect by any means and I probably never will be. I understand that we all have our faults. That's why I try my best to reserve my hatred for non-compassionate behaviors, not the people who succumb to them.
Hate the behavior, not the person.
I have to pause here and say, that it's very difficult to do that. I'm working on it and I'm not there yet.
I hate that not everyone is compassion and character driven. Connecting with the fact that not all my friends and loved ones see the connections is probably the hardest thing that I face on a daily basis. It makes me overwhelmingly sad for them and for the future.
But we are human animals aren't we? And the real aha moment comes when we figure out that we will never be completely perfect. We will never have ALL our shit together. We will never get it ALL right. But hey, it doesn't hurt to try.
And I guess that's why I choose compassion over all. Because even though it may be a lost cause, the fact that the human race as a whole is incredibly fallible and really great at screwing things up for everyone just highlights the importance of living as compassionately as possible.
Can compassion outweigh our mistakes? Can we set such a good example that following it becomes the norm instead of the exception? I don't know. But it may create some bright moments in a world of darkness. It may give someone hope where they had none before.
And that, my friends is worth the effort for me. How about you?