This is my first ever reblog, but it is clearly a very important message.
Sadness is not contagious. In our valiant efforts to be constructive and positive in a world full of difficulty, we can mistake avoiding the distress of others for a way of maintaining our own positivity.
Thanks to our mirror neurons and our natural empathy with other living creatures, encountering sadness most definitely touches us and can even make us feel upset.
But while avoiding the pain of others may momentarily make us feel better, it doesn’t really contribute to our own well-being – or even our own happiness.
Engaging with others in their suffering has an important place in our development as individuals and as societies.
The Charter for Compassion, founder, Karen Armstrong, has some interesting points to make about this subject.
In Buddhism, compassion (karuna) is defined as a determination to liberate others from their grief, something that is impossible if we do not admit to our own…
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