If you want others
to be happy, practice compassion. If you want
to be happy, practice compassion.

~ 14th Dalai Lama

the other day i ran into an occasional acquaintance of mine. as usual, i felt the same bristling feeling that i normally get whenever i see this person. the reason i feel so irritated is because this person wronged me before. not just once, but a few times, and in a purposeful way, so i know they did it because of some conflict they have with me which i am unaware of. it’s not someone i know very well and have nothing invested in the relationship, so i don’t plan on confronting the person about what they did, why they did it, etc.

when i noticed the bristling feeling rising up in me again, i sat and looked at it for a bit. i decided that i don’t like the feeling. i wished that the incidents had never happened in the first place. i wondered what i could do to stop feeling negative every time i saw this person again.

it was then that i started thinking about using compassion. i tried to turn my view of this person around by considering what they had gone through in their life to get them to this point. this person must have been hurt in some way to cause them to lash out at others, and probably wasn’t even aware that what they did was hostile.

i even started wondering what the dalai lama would think if the same incidents had happened to him. there was no doubt in my mind that he would look at this person with compassion – he would understand that pain is what led that person to this point, nothing else. he would not get angry, or offended, or wish revenge.

i think i may have finally understood, or at least had a glimpse of, the true meaning of compassion.