Compassion is … allowing oneself to be discerning. In the feel-good rebellion of rejecting archaic fundamentalism and embracing new age enlightenment, it may seem like a great idea to drop judgement. And this is true – judgement is unkind and ….judgy – an ego creation. But let us not forget to use our wisdom for higher guidance and to remain discerning in all situations and all relationships. One of the best pieces of advice that I heard from a rabbi was when choosing relationships – friendship, business, marriage – one is to look at not what you like in someone because there is much to like in most people, but to look at what you don’t like in someone and discern if you can live with those. If someone leaves dirty socks on the floor, can you live with that? If someone speaks petty and nasty words about others, can you live with that? Also, how does someone behave when they don’t get what they want or when you don’t give them what they want? Do they become manipulative, angry or use emotional blackmail? There’s amazing books and resources on these subjects (pm me if you want suggestions). Using our wise judgement – meaning our gift of discernment— is building a healthy and compassionate world for ourselves and others.
27th day of the Jewish month of Av – the month of Compassion