With everything going on in the world these days, it’s safe to say we need more compassion in our lives. No matter how you feel about certain political decisions or human rights debates, it’s clear to see some things just aren’t working.
That’s part of the reason the Avatar organization has started the Avatar Compassion Project. We’ve become quicker to judge someone or be confrontational towards them than we are to greet them with compassion. It’s something that goes against our human nature, but yet, has managed to become our norm all around the world.
This special project may be what we need to turn things around. Here’s a closer look at how it works and why it matters.
How the Avatar Compassion Project Works
The main objective of the Avatar Compassion Project is this: to increase the amount of compassion felt around the world. The organization is working to accomplish the compassion people feel by raising the number of compassion cards in global circulation.
Compassion cards are the front lines of the Compassion Project. They state the mission and purpose of this initiative the Avatar organization has come up with, and they make it simple to understand compassion wherever you are.
All you have to do is follow the simple exercise explained on the card, and you don’t need anything to complete it other than an open mind and an unfamiliar face to focus on. The point of the card – and ultimately, the entire project – comes down to seeing others through more compassionate eyes.
There are five mini exercises rolled into the one exercise on the card. They each tell you to think about a common experience you share with the person you choose to look at, even though they are a complete stranger. These are things like joy, the pursuit of happiness, hardship, and learning.
You’re not supposed to communicate with the other person or even let them know you’re part of the Avatar Compassion Project. Well, you can if you want to, but the key is to focus on your perspective of other people and start to create a change in how you see things.
It’s kind of like Rumi once said, “yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world; today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” You have to work on having more compassion in your heart before you can build it in the world around you.
Put simply, the Avatar Compassion Project only works when you do.
Seeing Others Through Compassionate Eyes
So, how do a few simple statements create more compassion? By challenging what you think you know with what the genuine truth of the human condition is.
Truth is, we all want the same thing. Even if we can’t agree on domestic policies and foreign affairs, everyone in this world is searching for fulfillment – and they want their right of being able to find it to be respected.
It’s that simple, we just tend to overcomplicate things. Thankfully, practicing compassion can help bring us back to our true selves.
What Happens When We Think With Compassion
Try the Avatar Compassion Exercise out for yourself and see what happens. You don’t need to have one of the millions of cards in your hand to do it. You can read more here to see what the card says then do the exercise the next time you’re in a crowded area.
Chances are, once you do the exercise on the card once, you’ll find yourself doing it over and over without even thinking. The card makes you realize that a perfect stranger is really more similar to you than you might think.
When you put aside gender, skin color, race, and other outside details, you start to see what’s within. From there, it’s hard to be bitter or rash with others.
How Compassion Changes Already Suffering Relationships
There’s an added bonus that comes with Avatar compassion cards. It’s the suggestion to try doing this exercise out loud with people you know.
Sit down and walk through the five statements with someone in your life who you’ve been meaning to make amends with. Or, mentally do the Avatar exercise with someone from your past whom you have yet to forgive for how they hurt you.
This brings the Compassion Project full circle. First, you change yourself for the better, then you start to see others for the better. Then, you’re able to see the good in those whom your history with has momentarily made you lose sight of.
The Benefits of Being More Compassionate
As much as we need more compassion in the world, the human race has a long way to go before we reach world peace. It is possible, though, and being compassionate reminds us of that.
Here are a few more things compassion can offer you, all of them available right now.
1. Inner Peace
When you think of others with more compassion, you feel better about yourself, too. There’s no need to be hard on yourself or hold grudges against others when you see things through soft eyes.
2. Deeper Understanding
Peeling back the layers of what you think you know and getting rid of assumptions is only the first step of building compassion. After that, you have to go deeper.
Compassion is what leads us towards genuine, intimate connections. It is the tool that opens doors that hate, anger, and resentment put locks on.
3. Fewer Barriers
Once you start making a few deep, unexpected connections by using compassion, it becomes a part of who you are. Compassion turns into a habit and putting up barriers against others becomes a thing of the past.
In time, you’ll find yourself being less defensive and more understanding. You’ll want to let more people in rather than pushing them away. Plus, you’ll realize others doing the same for you.
The Avatar Compassion Project: A Journey to Reach 10 Million People
When compassion burns brightly in your heart, it spreads like wildfire to the people around you. When 10 million Avatar Compassion Project cards spread around the world, amazing things can happen.
Join the movement to a higher conscious and a more connected world – and don’t stop there. If you want to make an even bigger impact, consider learning another language to make your compassionate connections deeper.