Practice: Overcoming Cruelty with Love and Compassion
If only we can overcome cruelty, to human and animal, with love and compassion we shall stand at the threshold of a new era in human moral and spiritual evolution—and realize, at last, our most unique quality: humanity. —Jane Goodall
Overcoming cruelty means living our lives consciously, aware of how our behaviors impact other sentient beings around the globe. The choices we make each day—how we interact with people and animals, what we consume, whether we make time to connect with ourselves and others—have far-reaching impact.
We know that one kind or compassionate act can ripple out and influence many others. Our kindness and compassion is also expressed by the quality of our presence, how we “show up,” how we listen and speak to others, what we buy, and how consciously we use natural resources.
Renew your efforts to walk lightly on the earth and to behave as if you are connected to every other sentient being.
This practice is inspired by conversation cards focused on love, forgiveness, and compassion, a resource available from the Fetzer Institute.
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It doesn’t have to be overwhelming to “be a lamp or a lifeboat or a ladder.” Sometimes a smile and a kind word is enough to shift someone’s day or outlook. Sometimes we can do more, like serving our communities and overcoming cruelty with compassion.