Recently, I’ve been thinking about what it is that makes a civilization great. The more I think about it, the more I think compassion is the greatest aspect of a civilization, especially one which is as diverse as Canada is.
People come in many shapes and sizes and colours and cultures and beliefs. The ability to see self in others, and others in self, this is what true compassion is founded on. We can look at people who are fundamentally different from us, and recognize the many similarities. We see them as equals, as partners, as humans. We see them as people who are trying to make their way in the world.
A compassionate society is one that embraces differences as something that can be learned from, rather than something that needs to be oppressed. It is a society that realizes that every member within it offers a contribution to the greater whole.
This may be a difficult thing to do. Civilizations can be quite large. The egos in play can sometimes derail things. The gaps between people are accented when people focus on the differences, rather than the similarities.
But integrate compassion into the moral fabric of your civilization, and it will be great. It will allow more and more people of many different backgrounds to come together, learn from one another, and co-exist peacefully.
I can think of nothing greater that a large group of people with compassion for one another, and for the outside world. I’m very proud to be Canadian right now.