Maitri for all
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Maitri for all

Types of Compassion

Suppose we happen to board into an empty bus and sat randomly in a seat reserved for old people. In the next two stops, the bus gets overcrowded with people. We then see an old person — who is too old to stand and hesitant to ask others for help — and decide offer our seat to them: to which they thank us truly. Is this an act of compassion that we can feel proud about? Not really. We sat in a seat reserved for them to only offer this to them later. Nothing to feel proud about, if not ashamed.

When we analyse: most of our acts of “compassion” fall into this category. When we do things that we ought to do, we don’t deserve bonus points. While compassion should evoke a feeling of gratitude within us that we could see the “ought” from “is”, it shouldn’t evoke the feeling of pride or ego within us, lest it becomes a reason for our downfall.

#Reflection

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Shyam Wuppuluri FRSA

Shyam Wuppuluri FRSA

Independent researcher - Interdisciplinary approaches @ Foundations of science. Albert Einstein Fellow 2020. Member of Brazilian academy of philosophy.