Here comes the end of 2021. It’s been a challenging yet life-changing year for me. I had many mental and emotional turbulences throughout the year. In 2021, I focused on two things: to pick myself back to feel the rhythm of life and keep searching for the answer on how to protect our beloved planet. Finally, I found the solution, which is compassion.

Compassion does not purely mean sympathetic concern for the suffering of others. We shall look deeper into the meaning of compassion. In emotional science, compassion is “the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering” (Greatergood, 2021). In this definition, compassion becomes a verb but not only a noun. We are aware of the feeling, understand, and take action. It is one of the most powerful emotions for change.

Everything starts from self-compassion. The reason being

“We cannot change the world if we cannot change our way of thinking and our consciousness”

Thinch Nhat Hanh

To change our way of thinking and consciousness, we need self-compassion. Self-compassion triggers us to understand our own emotions, thoughts, and, most importantly, our sufferings. It is the beginning of awakening to actions. Then behavioural change will come along. It is our responsibility to make individual awakening happen and influence others. After that, collective awakening and movement will occur.

We cannot change the world, but we can learn self-compassion to change ourselves then influence change.

We have many solutions and proposals for sustainability and climate change, but why are we still moving towards more than 2 degrees Celsius? It is because we lack compassion. We blame the system and politics. Yet, the main drivers of 2 degrees Celsius are greed and fear. They are the enemies of compassion. The world leaders do not have the compassion to feel the suffering and understand what is happening. They are blinded by greed and fear—the greed of power and money and the fear of losing power and money. Humans tend to seek convenience and comfort. We do not like to suffer. Therefore, we avoid suffering and close our eyes most of the time even though we are aware of the problems.

Nevertheless, the earth is the fairest judge on the planet. We are forced to feel the suffering now with the collapse of social economics and social-ecology due to the pandemic. We experience suffering no matter where we are and who we are. However, is this experience enlightenment to compassion? I hope so. We need compassion for change to protect our home, family and next generations.

This blog is a pure sharing of thoughts and reflections to mark the end of 2021. Happy New Year!

A sharing of the sound of the forest while me practicing self-compassion.

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