The Seeds of Compassion conference in Seattle is something of an anomaly as far as I can tell. It’s been billed as several different things it seems and it became clear to me when I was speaking with the media wrangler from the organization that the purpose of this conference is to focus on the raising of our children to be compassionate humans.
The approach is a series of conferences and lectures to bring experts in the field of raising children into one venue and give you access to them. Some of their comments will not agree with you, but that’s the point. You have to make up your own mind when it comes to raising your children, but if you give them the opportunity to be a compassionate human you’re going to be contributing to the bettering of our society.
A quote from an eleven-year-old child brought the idea of compassion home to me, “They say home is where the heart is, but if you don’t have a home where does your heart live?” This was the lead into the discussion of children in the foster home and orphanage systems the world over, the idea that these children are raised with little or no compassion for not only their physical but their emotional well being is a travesty, it’s a sign our society has something desperately wrong with it that we need to address.
When it came time for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to speak he started out by mentioning the benefits of compassion and how it’s not just a wholesome feeling you receive when you help someone out of compassion, but it’s the residual feelings you generate not only in yourself but others around you. One of the other concepts that He spoke of was the idea that to practice and cultivate compassion can bring less fear and more inner strength to an individual. The idea that every human action should carry compassion is something that is universal in His thoughts from this afternoon’s discussion.
Compassion is a seed of potential, the more you practice compassion the more you benefit the world over. You can be the seed of change by helping one person out of compassion rather than out of obligation. How can we ignore such a simple call to action? We ignore the helpless, we ignore those less fortunate and all it takes is a small amount of time to reach out and be compassionate to others.
My favorite quote from His Holiness was towards the end of the discussion, “One does not need religion to be compassionate or to learn compassion.” You can believe in any version of god you decide, or none if you like, but we all need compassion in our lives.