Monday, June 13, 2011

what is compassionate?

I am struggling the last week or two with what is compassionate? How do you know when you are truly acting from compassion? and in a situation where there is pain all around, how do you know which action is more compassionate?

Does compassion require action at all? Can I be loving, be compassionate, and still let events unfold without my doing anything at all?

To give a non-human example -- our dog is in pain. A lot of pain, a lot of the time. His test results show hip dysplasia, spinal disk degeneration, a spinal cyst, stenosis. He already has mitral valve degeneration, and a heart defect. Yet he is happy much of the time, and seems to enjoy his life. Do we keep taking him to the vet? have his hip replaced, or the cyst removed? At what point are we serving ourselves and not the dog? what is the compassionate thing to do? Are we taking him to the vet for him, or for us? If its for him, will we know when it switches to being about us?

when do you act? when do you not act? does motive matter?

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