India Observations: Sacred Spaces and Compassion

Religion and spirituality still play openly in the Indian public square.  Of course, there are tons of temples great and small scattered about here.  More interestingly, the Times of India has a “Sacred Space” on its editorial page and a special “Spirituality” URL (here).  True to the syncrentist bent here, the quotes come from a range of practices, usually from Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant teachers.  Also, the tone isn’t ironic or scandal-seeking, unlike so many religion sections in the elite US press (where they still exist).

Compassion was the theme yesterday and I liked two quotes.  The first is a gentle one from Brahma Kumaris:

A compassionate person develops an eye for spotting the qualities that make each person special. Even when others are at their lowest ebb, it is possible to help them restore their self-belief by keeping a firm, clear vision of their goodness and specialities. Taking a gently encouraging approach, I must never give up on anyone.

The second is a more challenging vision from Frederick Buechner:

Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.

The Buechner quote reminds me that to get real empathy with another human, I need to part ways with “the great God me.”  Some part of me has to die — the self-regarding Olympian part — for me to truly stand in the shoes of another.

Advertisements

One Response

  1. […] India Observations: Sacred Spaces and Compassion By Paul Ritchie Religion and spirituality still play openly in the Indian public square. Of course, there are tons of temples great and small scattered about here. More interestingly, the Times of India has a ?Sacred Space? on its editorial page and a … Crossderry Blog – https://crossderry.wordpress.com […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: