Empathy apparently has no limits

In my case, at least.

What I posted yesterday bothered me all evening, and as I was watching tsunami footage with a friend, I realized that I do feel deeply about it. I must, because as soon as the notice went around Twitter about sending money to the Red Cross via SMS, I did so. It wasn’t a lot, but it was what I could give.

I think most of my contemplation comes from reading the Gita, which I’m in the middle of right now. I just finished the part in which Krishna explains to Arjuna the benefit of acting without concern for the results, not being tied to ego or a positive or negative outcome, and not becoming angry with bad things or overly pleased with good things. I know that this is not easy philosophy; in fact, the author of the translation I’m reading (Eknath Easwaran) explains in the introduction that there is much hidden wisdom in the Gita. It is easy for someone new to the philosophy to become confused, and that there are many, many other written works that are efforts to help people understand the wisdom in the Gita.

So this morning I woke up knowing that I need to take a step back and not be so hard on myself. I’m pretty impatient most of the time anyhow, so this is a healthy thing to know. Nobody expects me to be able to follow the teachings of the Gita perfectly the first time. I’ll get better with practice.

About HappyGoth

By day, I'm a graphic designer. By night, I'm a knitter. I'm doing my part to keep Hotlanta stylish. I imagine that if you don't already understand the title of the blog, you're probably confused and perhaps slightly annoyed, but never fear - I do have a reason (and it's a good one). Having gone to hear Stephanie Pearl McPhee, and then having been inspired to blog about knitting, I found myself wondering what to call the blog. I recalled a conversation I had with Mouse and the Chicken Goddess about why it is a Bad Idea to anger knitters - this conversation was following SPM, aka the Yarn Harlot telling the assembled throng about Those Who Do Not Understand Knitting and Therefore Belittle It Much to the Chagrin of Others, or TWDNUKTBMCO, which is not the acronym she used but is the one I'm using because I forgot hers - that is, we are numerous and we all have very pointy sticks, easily transforming into an angry mob. Therefore, knitters = angry mob.
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2 Responses to Empathy apparently has no limits

  1. Tāṇḍava says:

    It is very difficult to see things like the earthquake and tsunami in Japan as good, the necessary force moving us on through births. In fact it could be a negative thing for someone who is not full of spiritual compassion to do so, because it could lead to fatalism, uncaring, and failure to help others. The ultimate aim is affectionate or loving attachment, where we love and care for people, help them in adversity but do not get carried into despair ourselves.

    Aum Shivaya

    • HappyGoth says:

      It seems as though it’s a very delicate balance, the difference between compassionate unattachment and dispassionate detachment. It also seems like it’s one of the hardest things to master, because the reflex is to cut yourself (you being a generic “you” in this case) off and separate yourself from everything, because it’s easier. I think I just realized how difficult but also how beautiful it is to continue to do everything you can in these situations.

      Perhaps the lesson of karma is something I need to look to here, as well. In this, doing good things is almost a no-brainer, because it shows that somewhere you’ve learned a valuable lesson from each adversity you face.

      As always, your comments give me a lot to think about, Tandava. Thanks for sharing this wisdom.

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