As we have focused on compassion this month, the question that kept coming to me was this—why does it take horrific disasters for many of us to put compassion into action? Have we buried our compassion so deeply within us that only major natural disasters or great human tragedies motivate us to act? Where is our demonstration of compassion when we pass a homeless person in our neighborhood or when we don’t make time for someone in emotional pain?

It is wonderful that we come together and demonstrate great compassion during the big emergencies. Major events seem to bring out the best in us. Imagine what a world we could create if those same levels of compassion were expressed in our day-to-day lives. If they were, we could alleviate enormous suffering in the world. In fact, we could change the world entirely.

I suspect that part of the reason we aren’t acting from compassion more regularly is that we do not include ourselves in expressions of compassion. We must also be compassionate toward our own beings. Remember, as within, so without. To become more compassionate with ourselves a good place to start is to erase the board where we have kept a record of our perceived failures and shortcomings. When we can let go of the judgment, it opens the heart allowing the free-flowing expression of compassion.

Let this be the year we reach out to others putting compassion into action, healing the world around us and ourselves.