Photo by Ron Lach
Are people hard-wired for compassion, or do they lean more toward selfishness due to their evolution? Prioritizing oneself may bring people numerous self-serving advantages. But here’s how living life with new perspectives can bring more happiness.
There’s a belief pointing out that people might be innately selfish. They’re prone to putting themselves first before others or even without considering others’ needs because evolution favors people observing this conduct. After all, people lived by the primary notion of “survival of the fittest.” Wherein whoever fares among the rest can enjoy the most benefits and advantages. Hence, it’s not too difficult to believe that people had to compete strongly against each other for resources rather than helping one another.
However, new theories and research results prove this belief wrong.
Evolution doesn’t favor selfishness, as people don’t need to be selfish to survive. Survival of the fittest doesn’t necessarily mean waning people out until the single toughest person remains. This indicates the possibility that people aren’t inherently and didn’t develop to be selfish. Instead, evolutionary-wise, nature pays those who know how to empathize and work well with a team. It’s also been recently found that people might be more hard-wired toward compassion than the other way around.
The Power Behind Compassion
On the subject of compassion, people might view it as a relatively feminine quality. Men are in charge of assertiveness. Women are commonly associated with compassion and kindness. Compared to self-serving and standing one’s ground, compassion makes people seem weak and vulnerable. This is one of the reasons why people are afraid of being compassionate. It entails being kinder and more accepting of others, which exposes them to more people who can take advantage of them.
But, new perspectives point out how there’s power in compassion. This power doesn’t revolve around manipulating others or making them cower in fear. Instead, it’s more about touching people’s lives and cultivating a more personal and intimate change. Compassion isn’t only about empathizing and feeling deeply about others. It isn’t only manifested through someone’s vicarious understanding of another’s suffering. Compassion doesn’t stop there. It also empowers them to make better decisions, live life through new perspectives, and alleviate their sufferings.
Hence, compassion is powerful, but not for the same reason as strength. It’s powerful because it has more prosocial action in improving other people’s lives. While it’s deemed innate for humans to be compassionate, the stressors they’re exposed to everyday can potentially suppress it. Social pressures and life experiences can make them act contrary to their expectations. Instead of being kind and empathizing with others, they tend to act impulsively and, often, in frustration. Fortunately, people continue growing and changing. They can train themselves to nurture their compassionate instinct.
Compassion Cultivation Training
There are numerous training courses available to teach people what they commonly lack. This includes motor and knowledge-based skills and teaches people about living life with new perspectives by introducing them to values they’ve failed to practice. Cultivating compassion takes time and the resolve of wanting to be better. After all, while training courses about compassion suggest that it can be learned, people need the desire to be kinder to sustain this value.
To develop qualities concerning compassion, kindness, and empathy, people need to undergo Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT). This eight-week course results in lesser stress reactivity, improved awareness and sensitivity toward others, and an overall increased ease with oneself due to kinder self-thought and self-image. Regarding compassion training, people aren’t only taught how to empathize with others. It also involves developing the strength to welcome and process suffering rather than avoiding it. Hence, in developing compassion, people also build their strength and stress resiliency, improving their abilities to handle challenges.
A Trusted Compassion Cultivation Trainer
Dr. Frances Sully spearheads compassion cultivation training under Be Compassionate NL. The company’s course is currently offered through an online program that spans eight weeks. Dr. Sully also facilitates 60 or 90-minute sessions on how people can better cultivate kindness toward themselves and others.
It’s not always guaranteed that all participants will experience the same results. But previous participants have reported improved emotions and recognizing new perspectives in life after their sessions. There’s also an increase in calmness, self-acceptance, and self-caring behavior, all because they’ve chosen to be kinder to themselves and others.
Be Compassionate NL has currently opened three sessions for April. Specific dates and additional requirements can be seen in the photo below.
Registering for a session is as easy as 1,2,3. People can visit Be Compassionate NL’s website at: https://becompassionatenl.ca/ and check available registration dates. They can even enjoy coupon codes to save money on their sessions. As Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Register now, and live a kinder, happier life through Dr. Sully’s Compassion Cultivation Training.