• Justin McLennan

How We Can Create a Healthier World

It is no secret that life can be grueling one minute and sublime the next. During these brief periods of time, it's easy to find ourselves labeling the moment as “bad”, “good”, “wrong”, or “right.” By learning to be more compassionate with ourselves and our thoughts, we can create a world absent of all the dualistic judgments. We can allow ourselves to realize we are all doing the best that we can.


By making compassion a daily practice, it becomes part of our lives and inspires us to contribute to a more loving world. Before getting into the importance of compassion being part of our lives, let's first explore the difference between empathy and compassion. Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of someone else. While having compassion for someone means you not only feel empathy for them, but you are compelled to help the individual by relieving their suffering.


As a child, we learn to have an "it's all about me" mentality and our Sidekick* begins to form. As children mature, we need to instill the significance and value of caring for themselves and others both physically and mentally. Ingraining this starts by us being positive role models and doing the same to ourselves. We must change the "it's all about me" mentality to "it's all about me and YOU." Along with changing this belief, we must prevent our Sidekicks* from putting us down and judging who we are as an individual. By quieting our Sidekick* - letting go of self-judgments, we can release the judgment of others, paving a smoother road for compassionate living.


Once seasoned in changing our mentality and quieting the shrewdness of our Sidekicks*, we open the doorway to compassion becoming part of our lives. Compassion can lead us to long-term joy and finding gratification in our small moments of connection. Increasing our compassion for ourselves and others can reduce anxiety and depression, and help us create deeper connections with one another. By just increasing the amount of compassion in our neighborhood, we can inspire a healthier world; a world with less suffering and joyful people making meaningful relationships.


Here are a few tips to make compassion part of your life, bring you more happiness, and do your part in helping this world become healthier.


  1. Actively listen to what your friend is saying.

  2. Ask open-ended questions. Be curious.

  3. Before trying to fix anything, ask if they'd be open to your advice.

  4. Add a meditation on compassion into your morning routine.

  5. Attend to your Sidekick* and practice self-compassion.

  6. Put yourself in someone else's shoes and descriptively imagine how it would feel to be them.

  7. Be mindful and practice being fully present.

  8. Self-care.

  9. Separate the person from the behavior.

  10. Identify something you have in common with the other person.


Without understanding a person's situation fully, we will never take action to help relieve their suffering. Utilize these steps, and together we can start creating a healthier world full of compassion. 

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