Whenever you talk about spiritual matters, someone will inevitably bring up compassion.
I think most people use "compassion" as a mask -- an excuse to avoid dealing with their own bullshit.
It's easy to fall in the trap of thinking you need to care about others first, before getting your own shit together.
Buddhism talks a lot about compassion, and I wonder if their original meaning of compassion was different from what most people mean.
I would absolutely urge anyone to be more compassionate if you look at compassion as a form or realism... and NOT in a rainbows and sunshine, loving the earth and saving the whales kind of way.
Here's what I mean.
Most people see compassion as what its definition states: "sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others."
How you COULD see it though, would be simply as non-judgmental understanding.
If you use it as a tool to simply understand someone else, then it is very useful.
For instance, you would have no rational justification for ever being upset, angry or irritated with others.
Saying Adolf Hitler's name inspires feelings of rage and disgust in most people. Now add compassion. Think about what sort of things would need to happen in your life for YOU to become like that.
Too hard to think about? Sorry, but this is serious business. Suck it up.
'Cuz things like that happened to him, and that's what happened.
If you genuinely go through that process and come to see how that could happen for you, then you would also understand why he did what he did.
You may still think what he did was utterly moronic. But at least you understand why.
Now you can have informed opinions, based entirely on introspective hard thinking - not imitating someone else's opinion.
When you add compassion, it makes it impossibly to be irrationally angry or in resistance to other people.
Whenever we meet or get exposed to someone who have views in conflict with our own, our brains immediately shut it out and creates resistance toward that person. It's a safety mechanism designed to protect your version of reality.
What if, instead of putting up walls and projecting useless emotions like anger and outrage toward that person, you sought to understand first.
You'll still disagree, but you will at least understand.
Now, I'm just saying... in the context of Buddhism and "waking up," this definition of compassion makes a whole lot more sense than the "sympathetic pity" version. Pity serves no one.
On the other hand, THIS version of compassion makes life a lot more friction-free.