If our wishes are not fulfilled and we begin to feel unhappy, we should immediately remember that the fault does not lie with the other person or the situation but with our own self-cherishing mind, which instinctively feels, “My wishes are supremely important.” Remaining continually mindful of the dangers of our self-cherishing will strengthen our resolve to abandon it, and instead of feeling sorry for ourself when we have problems, we can use our own suffering to remind us of the suffering of countless mother beings and develop love and compassion for them.
—  Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”

The mind is like a fertile field – all sorts of things can grow there. When we plant a seed…

The mind is like a fertile field - all sorts of things can grow there. When we plant a seed - an act, a statement, or a thought - it will eventually produce a fruit, which will ripen and fall to the ground and perpetuate more of the same. Moment by moment, we plant potent seeds of causation with our body, speech, and mind. When the right conditions come together for our karma to ripen, we will have to deal with the consequences of what we have planted.

— Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it.

As humans, we have always been afraid of the great unknown. The vastness of space and time is enough to send shivers down the spine of even the most educated astronomers and scientists.

There is indeed a hole in the story of life that will baffle us and shine uncertainty on everyone; and it is our choice to either A) accept the beauty and mystery that lay beyond the said void, or B) fill the void with the belief of a higher power. Sadly, it is the latter option that seems to have drained the humanity out of humans.

The beauty of our somewhat perfect world has been defiled and trampled on by belief systems that seem to take that awe away. We no longer have love for our fellow humans, and we often wonder why.

I’m sick of being made to feel as if my life does not have a purpose. Life does not have a purpose. We as human beings are not on this planet for some divine and important goal; nor should we have to take this belief as a form of nihilism.

As a collective, we should not divide ourselves. We should all be working towards leading enriched lives, and we should be working in conjunction with the other animal species in which we have all but forgotten about.

I’ve had a lot of people bring up the topic of compassion when it comes to religion. Throughout my life, I have studied religion from an outside perspective and have constantly found teachings of compassion. However, the discourse with humanity in this day and age, is selective compassion.

We have institutionalised compassion and spirituality to the point where it has become okay to pass judgement and/or express hatred over other human beings

Often, i hear the argument that “these people are not truly following the word of the lord”, but this does not give reason - in fact, it fuels the fire.

This idea can be blanketed with minorities or labelled as unrepresentative, but stepping foot onto the streets of any city in my country proves that lack of respect and compassion, even at a basic level, is clearly the majority. 

Our Conservative, Christian government in which everybody apparently dislikes, has become the catalyst within a grand re-acceptance of xenophobia, racism and just a general ignorance towards others. Although I am not blaming the government of Australia, because I understand that these qualities almost exist as part of our national identity; they have taken the helm of a misguided ship and are steering it further and further in the wrong direction, despite what the map says.

Where am I going with all of this you might ask? Well, basically I have not spoken up about the way I feel as a humanist for a long time, and at a time where we seem to be losing touch with what is naturally wrong as an intelligent and communicative species - we need to be taking a step back and assessing our situation.

We need to be steering away from supporting institutionalised compassion and moral judgement. We need to stop dividing our fellow humans due to what media outlets, government and religious institutions tell us is right, when they are in fact acting with their own agendas.

Compassion, love, kindness, spirituality, intelligence and communication are no longer 100% intrinsic; and the meaning pools in which we are brought up in are determining who we are, and how we act. It is our job to change the water within these meaning pools - we need to drain them and re-fill them with a more compatible meaning. Until we do this as a collective, tomorrow’s today will be as bleak as today’s yesterday.

I firmly believe in small gestures: hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile or try to be kind even when you don’t feel like it, pay compliments, chase the kid’s runaway ball down the sidewalk & throw it back to him, try to be larger than you are - particularly when it’s difficult. People do notice, people appreciate. I appreciate it when it’s done for me. Small gestures can be an effort, or actually go against our grain (‘I’m not a big one for paying compliments…’), but the irony is that almost every time you make them, you feel better about yourself. For a moment life suddenly feels lighter, a bit more Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.
—  Jonathan Carroll

“Aristotle taught that there was an immovable ‘entelechy’ in the universe that moves everything and the thought was its main attribute. I am also convinced that the whole universe is unified in both material and spiritual sense. Out there in the universe there is a nucleus that gives us all the power, all the inspiration; it draws us to itself eternally, I feel its mightiness and values it transmits throughout the universe; thus keeping it in harmony. I have not breached the secret of that core, still I am aware of its existence, and when wanting to give it any material attribute I imagine LIGHT, and when trying to conceive it spiritually I imagine BEAUTY and COMPASSION. The one who carries that belief inside feels strong, finds joy in his work, for he experiences himself as a single tone in the universal harmony.”

-Nikola Tesla

(From the text “Nikola Tesla, Our First Great Ambassador in the USA” of Vladislav Savic, published in ‘Tesla Magazine’ 1951.)