Being and transmitting (1) - Compassion in action
Our common responsibility has become all the more obvious now that we face major social, economic and environmental disasters. These issues generate disturbance, confusion and seemingly complex interrogations, but it is actually a simple matter of opposition between altruism and institutionalized selfishness. The best way to bring about cultural change and create a more compassionate future is to act together with consideration for other species, for future generations and for the environment.
The end of year celebrations are an opportunity to strengthen our bonds with loved ones, with our friends, but also to extend this love to all beings. We live in a time when showing affection for our children and those we cherish is generally done through excessive consumption, with dire social and ecological consequences. In 2010 alone, over 61 million games and toys where bought in France ! The energy cost is estimated at 17 000 tons of CO² for toy delivery worldwide, from the site of production to their future owner. And production is probably much more important in 2021 !
With the coming holidays, we can have a direct and simple impact by choosing to buy locally and responsibly made products such as wooden toys for children, giving pre-loved goods or reusing packaging. And we need to reconsider how we behave with our close ones, ours friends and the world at large. Compassion is an essential quality for creating bonds. As my friend Christophe André says : « Recycling love is a beautiful act of transmission ».
As individuals, we may feel powerless and discouraged by the multiplicity and urgency of the challenges we face. A change of culture is possible if we mobilize our capacity to act together, with perseverance and discernment, in the right direction.
- Ricard Matthieu. Altruism: the Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World . Little, Brown and Company, 2015.
- André Christophe, Kabat-Zinn Jon, Kostou Ilios, Lesire Caroline, Rabhi Pierre, Ricard Matthieu. Se changer, changer le monde: Des solutions concrètes pour mieux vivre ensemble , J’ai lu, 2015. [in French only]
- Ricard Matthieu, Singer Tania. Power and Care: Toward Balance for Our Common Future. MIT Press, 2019.
- Alvarez Cécile, André Christophe, Gueguen Catherine, Kotsou Ilios, Lenoir Frédéric, Lesire Caroline, Lopez Frédéric, Ricard Matthieu. Transmettre , L’Iconoclaste, 2019. [in French only]
- Ricard Matthieu. Carnet d’un moine errant , Allary Édition Illustrée, 2021. [in translation]