The innocent mistake that keeps us caught in our own particular style of ignorance, unkindness, and shut-downness is that we are never encouraged to see clearly what is, with gentleness. Instead, there’s a kind of basic misunderstanding that we should try to be better than we already are, that we should try to improve ourselves, that we should try to get away from painful things, and that if we could just learn how to get away from the painful things, then we would be happy. That is the innocent, naïve misunderstanding that we all share, which keeps us unhappy.
~ Pema Chödron
Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.
~ Henri Nouwen
The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion … open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.
~ Orhan Pamuk
It’s not enough to love something–or someone. Of course you love a person or art or music or the theatre. But you have to imagine that this person or this thing is trapped in a house afire, and the fire is apathy, and the fire is ignorance, and you have to go into the house all the time, day after day, year after year, and put out the flames and save the thing you love and rebuild the house in which it lives, and show it to others who will come to the rescue when you no longer can. Love is cheap and silly–a moron can love ice cream–but devotion is something worth talking about.
–Eva Le Gallienne
Maybe love, too, is beautiful because it has a wildness that cannot be tamed. I don’t know. All I know is that passion can take you up like a house of cards in a tornado, leaving destruction in its wake. Or it can let you alone because you’ve built a stone wall against it, set out the armed guards to keep it from touching you. The real trick is to let it in, but to hold on. To understand that the heart is as wide and vast as the universe, but that we come to know it best from here, this place of gravity and stability, where our feet can still touch ground.
~ Deb Caletti
Radical hope anticipates a good for which those who have the hope as yet lack the appropriate concepts with which to understand it. This is a daunting form of commitment: to a goodness in the world that transcends one’s current ability to grasp what it is.
~ Jonathan Lear, Radical Hope
By opening up our heart then, the blessings come in. If our hearts are closed, then, like they say, like the sun is shining, but if you close all the shutters and the curtains, then the room is dark. If you open it up, then the sun is always there. It will lighten you if we open up to it. So from the Mahayana point of view, the whole universe is filled with blessings. All we have to learn how to do from our side is to learn how to develop that quality of openness and devotion and trust in order for those blessings to percolate into our own heart.
~ Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
To perceive the world through other senses is to find splendor in familiarity, wilderness in one’s backyard, the sacred in the mundane.
~ Ed Yong
Awareness of the divine begins with wonder.
— Abraham Heschel
I think that every discovery of the world plunges us into jubilation, a radical amazement that tears apart the veil of triviality.
— Dorothee Soelle
Institutionalized rejection of difference is an absolute necessity in a profit economy which needs outsiders as surplus people. As members of such an economy, we have all been programmed to respond to the human difference between us with fear and loathing and to handle that difference in one of three ways: ignore it, and if that is not possible, copy it if we think it is dominant, or destroy it if we think it is subordinate. But we have no patterns for relating across our human differences as equals. As a result, those differences have been misnamed and misused in the service of separation and confusion.
~ Audre Lorde
Black and Third World people are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade their responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.
~ more from Audre Lorde