Sunday, July 15, 2007

Why We Should Not Pity

It is a mistake to confuse pity with compassion. We pity those we believe are in some way weak or helpless. In that respect, we condescend to pity. But we are compassionate towards those we consider equals.

When we pity ourselves, it leads to cynicism and bitterness.

When we pity others, we encourage them to pity themselves, leading to cynicism and bitterness.

A person who pities himself cannot be happy in his self-pity. But a person who is compassionate towards himself can be happy in his compassion, and is at least on the road to compassion for others.

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