I recently watched a video on compassion with Werner Erhard, a leader in the field of personal transformation, and Dr. Jim Doty, one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons. (The entire video is below.) I found it extremely beneficial in that I learned we, as humans, are hard-wired to care, it’s our default state and it’s how we function. As it turns out, compassion is the most optimal state for our health. When the heart and brain are working together, there are many, many benefits to us as humans. It’s also been proven medically that we are made to care.
This past week I was watching a nature program, as you do, and saw a scene I have witnessed many times – a baby animal is too weak to survive and the mother decides to feed the strong ones, leaving the weaker one to die. In another scenario, a mother and father duck were taking their two babies across a treacherous passing to get to food. One chick got carried off in the currents, unable to catch up to its parents. The chick was lost forever and would die.
The parents kept going with the little chick who was keeping up – there was no other choice for them. I can project all I want onto the duck parents – “Oh man, go get that baby!! It’s going to die!! Don’t you care?” It’s not going to change the nature of nature.
Heart-breaking – to us humans – who are wired to care. Animals in nature are wired for survival. They do not possess the higher brain – the neocortex which gives them the ability to care. In a similar scenario with the ducks, a human father would have saw to it that the mother and other child were safe then took off to get the other one. The instinct to save the wayward child would have been very strong and damn-near impossible to ignore. It’s what allows people to lift cars off someone trapped underneath!
When you find your humanity, caring is there. -Werner Erhard
At the end of the video, a woman asked a question regarding what’s going on in the world, specifically referring to the issue of there being millions of refugees – what’s going on with humanity that this situation is ok? Werner stated: “Fear makes people less human.” Jim answered with the following:
The problem is that when you create fear, it results in people doing things that are not fundamentally natural to them because they go into their stress mode and they don’t become more open, they become less open. If you look at our political situation you see a fear narrative and a group of people who are terrified and who then create “the other” in an artificial narrative that “there’s not enough” or “something’s being taken from me” or “somebody’s taking advantage.” Then you objectify the other and you justify doing horrible things.
A case of me versus them; this is how it happens and this is how we remain separate from each other. We forget to consider other people’s experiences and what they may have been through in their life. Instead, we objectify others, we judge them, and in doing so we lose our humanity. And, it’s not just against others do we do this – it’s also with ourselves. And that is the problem – we do it to ourselves. We judge ourselves, we are hard on ourselves, we get stressed and close our hearts – losing our humanity.
Jim shared something I have heard many times and I wholeheartedly agree with – Act how you wish others to act. Kindness pays forward, it changes other people when we are kind to them. Give the gift of being kind and nonjudgmental – to others and yourself.
The one thing we all share and have in common is our humanity. I was watching a scene in the movie “War Horse” where two opposing soldiers come together to free a horse from barbed wire. The shooting stoped for an act of kindness and caring. Both sides understood what was happening – so space in the fighting was created. At that point “the war” was put aside – for a human act of kindness.
Let’s put our wars aside and be kind with each other. We can start by being kind with ourselves and our families, then move out from there . . .
Thank you for witnessing. For more posts on Werner Erhard and/or transformational technology – please click on the Categories drop down menu at the top right and look for Werner Erhard.