Tag Archives: compassion

Trashing Tiger

By Jim Selman | Bio

I have not spent any time at all reading, watching or listening to the media about what are euphemistically referred to as Tiger Wood’s “transgressions”. I haven’t had to: it seems to be on every channel, and the ‘talk of the town’ wherever I go. Whatever the pain and anguish this is causing him and his family, it is disgusting for our voyeuristic nation to be so fixated on what, at the end of the day, have been human foibles for centuries and are commonplace in many parts of the world. I know that celebrity-watching is becoming a growth industry, but have we ever considered why?

We seem to put our heroes on pedestals one day and then begin to systematically destroy them the next.  None of us are Saints. If we don’t keep our agreements and commitments, we will pay the consequences. But we should be relating to this and stories like it with at least some compassion, rather than self-righteously deciding who is the villain and who is the victim and dramatizing what already is a tragedy into a public spectacle.

I understand that public figures must

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N.O.P.E.: National Organization of Pissed Off Elders

By Jim Selman | Bio

I want to create a new organization to stamp out stupidity and indifference and restore common decency and goodwill into society. I think I’ll call it the National Organization of Pissed-Off Elders (N.O.P.E.).

What’s pissing us off?

A lot more than just ‘aging’ issues like Social Security, pharmaceuticals and our sex lives.

First, it pisses us off that the people in charge are squandering away the opportunities they had to make the world work, or at least be a better place. For example…

  • Thinking we get stupid as we get older
  • Growth at any cost
  • Short-sightedness
  • Self-righteousness
  • Special interests
  • Contrived controversy
  • Bullying, greed and intolerance
  • Turning an economic mechanism like capitalism into an ideology
  • “Us versus Them”ism

N.O.P.E. could have both positive and negative strategies. For example, when we’re talking to someone who is speaking baby talk to us or raising their voice so we can hear, we could shout

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Compassion for the Leader

By Jim Selman | Bio

It is interesting reading the Buenos Aires Herald this week. It is a 130-year-old newspaper written in English filled with Argentinian issues and perspectives on topics often having to do with what’s going on in the USA. There have been two or three articles a day about the new Administration.

One thing that seems to be showing up (and that I suspect is true in the North American press as well) is that the pundits are now falling into the ‘spectator mode’ and starting

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By Jim Selman | Bio

Compassion is word that for me has special significance at Christmas, partly because it is the quality of “being love” embodied in the stories of Jesus and most of the great spiritual masters and reincarnations of God throughout the ages. It is also because it may be the ultimate gift we can give each other and ourselves during this special season of giving (as well as at every other time of year). When times are tough, compassion is sometimes all we have to give.

Compassion is not ‘feeling’ bad for others. It is not sympathy.

Compassion is a deep emotional and spiritual connection and recognition of others and ourselves. It is the profound experience of ‘otherness’ and the nature of who we are. Compassion is, I think, love at its purest and most primal level. Compassion is the line between human beings and other animals. It is the choice to be alive and present and acknowledge that each of us is making or can exercise that choice

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Life at the Growing Edge

By Shae Hadden | Bio

Several years ago, a wise 93-year-old man named Hayden shared with me his principles for living life “at the growing edge”. He had printed them on cards, in the shape of a bookmark, and distributed them to everyone who engaged in meaningful conversation with him. Today, as I’m recovering from the first major surgery I’ve ever had, I was drawn to reflect on a couple of them again. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if I shared them with you now:
  • I may accept life, just as it is, here and now, observing it and experiencing it without judging it and without becoming its victim, or trying to control it. The past year has been an interesting experiment in developing this ability. Health challenges are often an opportunity to practice surrendering while being responsible. We are constantly making choices in life, and some of them support health. Others don’t. When the ones we make don’t turn out to be in our favor, we can be responsible for them or we can blame ourselves for making ‘bad’ choices. Sometimes, that blame gets pushed out onto others, or surfaces in unrelated expressions of frustration. When we can step back and treat ourselves with compassion, we can see that oftentimes our ego (our ‘self) tries to control how we relate to our health (for example, by telling us we’re fine and to keep operating as normal or by making a big deal out of something inconsequential). Either way, our Higher Self (the ‘I’ that chooses and is aware when we are ‘un-conscious’) knows there is another way of relating to our health that doesn’t involve control. Which leads to …
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The World We Want: What If We All Wanted the Same Thing?

By David Korten | Great Turning website

Read more posts in The World We Want series.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it turned out the choices we must make together to survive together are the same choices we must make to create the very world most of all the world’s people want? If that were case, then we should be able to just get together and make it happen. Wouldn’t that be cool? Maybe we should start a conversation to find out what people truly want…

Actually, that conversation started quite

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Wired to Connect

How many people in a day do you see treat other people as objects, as a
means to an end? From ignoring those we are in the room with while
tensely thumbing a Blackberry to yelling impatience at a store clerk,
many relate to others as if they are simply there to give them
something. Unfortunately, our moods are more infectious than we may

Recent advances in neuroscience have discovered that our brains are
wired to be social, and that our inner states affect those around us.

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Compassion and Growth

By Shae Hadden

My sister reminded me last night that it’s gardening season. “The next three weeks are for planting,” she said. And that was it. For her, the next three weeks of her work life will be determined by her definition of this part of the growing season. Purchasing young seedlings, transplanting older plants, making last minute preparations of the garden beds, placing vital nutrients around plant roots. Working the soil and planting things.

I was struck by the sweet irony of life.

the midst of this season of new beginnings, some of my older women
friends are facing mid-life and end-of-life challenges. Seasons ago,
they ‘planted’ themselves in particular locations, lifestyles and ways
of thinking about things. And now the challenges they face are like
none they have experienced before. In a way, they are being offered
opportunities to let go, to ‘re-plant’ themselves,

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I visited my Mother this week. She is 87 and not well. A lifetime of smoking has caught up with her and she is fighting emphysema every day. For the first time in a while, I came face to face with the reality that she is dying. Her comment to me is that “I don’t mind dying but don’t like dying this way”. These thoughts aren’t about not smoking, although as an ex-smoker, it is remarkable how that addiction can warp our judgment. My mother continues smoking to this day—now protesting

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