You’re on a subway station waiting for your train to arrive. A man you don’t know approaches the edge of the platform, ignoring all the calls to back away announced from the subway speakers. He’s nervously rocking sideways and breathing heavily. His face is turning red, his whole body is tense. What do you do? The train will be here in just 50 more seconds.
Love your article :) Reminds me of the quotes “The greatness of a nation can be judged by how it treats its weakest members.”
"A society should be judged not by how it treats its outstanding citizens but by how it treats its criminals."
These quotes also represent for me why i turned away from certain "spiritual" schools. I saw non-spiritual people acting more wise then any "master" i saw. I saw asthonishing sacrifices, witty Koan like tricks from alcoholics that saved others, i saw wise love from deeply hurted people. And the thing is in the next meetings i saw the same people act full of greed or confusion...
Wisdom, Capacity to help and love seem to me much more situational then ever. There is no "wise person" but only wise acts, certain people have more healthy habits cultivated. And view of the people with healthy habits are antifragil enough that allows them to handle crisis. Meditation, prayer or psychology education doesn't make this better. It is nearly orthogonal to your background (nearly).
“It's a little embarrassing that after 45 years of research & study, the best advice I can give people is to be a little kinder to each other.” Huxley
(sorry for the length of this answer and the many cliche sounding phrases :D)
Very timely reminder! I get confronted with this once in a while... I feel on the top of the world, in the groove, improving myself, handling all these tasks/ responsibilities, feeling very mature, so on -- and then I remember the haunting blindspot: how do I help, say, a friend in suicidal depression? (that's the extreme end.) how can I show love, without it melting into useless/ insulting pity (which creates more distance anyway)? how can I be there for them without being too solution-oriented, but also noticing when they do need a suggestion/ direction?