compassion is a general principle in yoga. it is especially emphasized as a quality of a vaisnava/devotee of krishna. among the twenty-six qualities of a devotee, compassion is named by itself, but can also be noted in other qualities - such as the first: "he is kind to everyone". I found myself thinking about this just a bit ago when one of my neighbors popped into my head. and I was thinking all kinds of judgmental thoughts about her and then I was like, "why is it so hard for me to be compassionate towards certain people?!" I don't have an answer to that question. but I thought maybe I would make myself a list of people that I find it most difficult to be compassionate towards in an effort to somehow cultivate this quality within myself.
* the mother of the girl who bullied madhavi for two years, who is also now my neighbor.
* the girl who bullied madhavi for two years.
* my upstairs neighbors who have severe mental illnesses.
* a co-worker who is so socially inept that she doesn't have the capacity to understand the world outside of her own box.
* a co-worker who, for seemingly no reason that I've been able to figure out, purposefully "threw me under the bus" (as they say) many years ago.
* a former friend who was a manipulator, and who also blamed me for things I didn't do or say.
* a former friend who is a self-sabotager.
I have to say, just making this list has shifted me a bit. because I was trying hard to describe these people without using their names, but also without saying judgmental things...I don't know that I was totally successful in that, but this little exercise has given me a lot to think about. I wouldn't say I've magically become compassionate towards these people, but at least I'm thinking about the fact that I'm not. and that's something better than nothing.