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Video description: “All of us have deeply unhelpful inner voices inside us, dragging us down with criticisms and unfair accusations. Wisdom involves learning how to replace them with more benevolent guides.”

Sometimes when we are generous in small barely detectable ways

“Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone’s life forever.” –Margaret Cho

“What does it mean to hold space for someone else? It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control.”

Read the full, lovely piece What it means to “hold space” for people, plus eight tips on how to do it well by Heather Plett.

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’, born from the Darwinian theory of natural selection. UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner adds nuance to this concept by delving deeper into Darwin’s idea that sympathy is one of the strongest human instincts — sometimes stronger than self-interest.

Optimism without Empathy

“If we have optimism without empathy then it doesn’t matter how much we master the secrets of science. We’re not really solving problems, we’re just working on puzzles.” –Bill Gates

Kindness

“Kindness is not an act. It is a lifestyle.” –Anthony Douglas

The usually colorful Cyrille was quite somber when I arrived for a long overdue haircut. A friend of his died yesterday, he shared with me quietly. Then not even five minutes later, one of his fellow stylists cried out, “He’s here!” while staring intently at her phone. Her baby nephew had just been born. It was a sweet and poignant moment, as she dashed around the room showing off his picture to everyone.

I’ve begun to think of humanity as a kind of wild and beautiful macroorganism. Something more profound than mere empathy is at play in our shared joys and pains. When we honor and respect one another, we are really aiding and nurturing ourselves. And when we hurt each other, whether through violence or callous disdain, we harm not just an individual but our collective being.

We are blessed in that we can consciously shape our collective future. I can almost see it, a great flowering of humanity over time. Ancestors, activists, and inventors–many before us have given to build the world we share today. Can we do no less for future generations?

I believe, naively perhaps, but quite passionately, that we have the ability to create heaven on earth. It happens when we share our stories with one another, acknowledge each other with compassion, lend a helping hand, and ask for support when we need it.

My Gen 1 My Gen 2 My Gen 3 My Gen 4 My Gen 5 My Gen 6 My Gen 7 My Gen 8 My Gen 9 My Gen 10 My Gen 11 My Gen 12

 

via Naterade and Kitsi in a box

 

HHDL“Today, as we wish each other a Happy New Year, let us determine to be more sincere, compassionate, warm-hearted human beings, trying to make our world a more equal place. That way we’ll actually make it a happy year.”

Dalai Lama

“Your job is to see people as they really are, and to do this, you have to know who you are in the most compassionate possible sense. Then you can recognize others.”

–Anne Lamott