"Many Buddhist teachers have described compassion as the ability to react freely and accurately in any situation. Being nice or feeling sorry for someone may be called for, but so may being fierce and unyielding. When sweetness is applied indiscriminately, it is seen as ‘idiot compassion.’" - Issan Dorsey
We have a blade to draw boundaries by our will. These are necessary. And for me, a strong will = an open heart. My heart can’t be open in a truly compassionate manner if my will is strong.
Everything can be brought into the “Beloved Community” and simultaneously we need to measure our own resources, and figure out what true respect and compassion in action look and feel like. If I am carrying someone all the time, is that respect and compassion? Likely not. If I have spread myself so thin that when my family needs me, I don’t have anything left to give, is that being responsible?
We need discernment and a strong center to move from. This helps us to act ethically, which for me, is the accuracy spoken of in the Dorsey quote. Morality is a big rubber stamp, that takes away my responsibility. Ethics, however, require me to be engaged and making active choices.
I don’t want to automatically exclude someone from my field of compassion. I do want to know what my limitations are, and to discern what true compassion looks like in each moment. This is difficult, but feels necessary.