HeartNote, April 24, 2019: The Prerequisite of Compassion

When you are compassionate toward another person, you will be happier. It's been scientifically proven. Look up Mattieu Richard, the french Buddhist monk, or just copy this link: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/a-69-year-old-monk-who-scientists-call-the-worlds-happiest-man-says-the-secret-to-being-happy-takes-a7869166.html

HOWEVER, being compassionate is has a prerequisite: Give the other person the benefit of the doubt.

I bring up traffic a lot, largely because it places us squarely in the center of the need for control, tension among others, and periodic episodes of urgency. It is a unifying human condition that blames the other people on the road for causing us delays, risk and discomfort that no amount of talk radio or listening to the Grateful Dead Channel can ease.

We all think we're wonderful drivers and the fault lies in those morons ahead of us. We are faultless victims of the operationally challenged that inconveniently occupy our morning commute.

And once we begin the believe this, we flip the switch of anger and compassion goes out of the window.

In order to be in a state of compassion, and using our daily commute as an example, go through these steps. This will IMMEDIATELY change your attitude. Here's what you do:

1) Deep breath. Really. Take two-literally, just two-seconds with this.

2) Run this through your head: "Well (always a good word to begin this sentence) bless his/her heart (learned this from a friend of mine from South Carolina. You can absolutely disable anger with a statement of blessing) but he/she a) doesn't know any better b) probably has to really hurry today c) is probably thinking about his/her kids or his/her Mom or some kind of financial difficulty.

3) It's OK, I just hope their going to have a good day.


Benefit of the doubt it the prerequisite to Compassion.

It takes a little practice. My first go round with this process sounded a little like the following:


havesomethingreallyimportantonyourmindtomakethatINCREDIBLYSTUPIDLANECHANGE (BREATHE)Iknow...it'sok...you're just in a hurry. So am I. But it's (BREATHE) fine. We're all here together. Let's just take a second (breeaattthhheee) to enjoy the morning."

I speak this aloud. When I'm in the car, I have to hear myself say this. I would suggest you do the same. I think it works better if you can hear yourself say it. If you're self conscious about just put something in your ear that looks like a bluetooth. You'll look like your talking on your phone.

This works. Wherever you're are, whomever you're with, this works. Keep breathing the benefit of the doubt.


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