28 who cares? you do!

Cynicism is the second of the three thresholds to be crossed if we are to make progress in our three quests.

Moving from opening our minds to opening our hearts will require us to move from cynicism to compassion, literally to endure with another.

Cynicism argues that whilst what we’re discovering is very interesting, we haven’t got the time or the energy or the wherewithal to do anything about it.  Moving from cynicism to compassion means we’re able to open our hearts to someone or something.  Compassion begins with being open-hearted to ourselves: compassion for Self, for others, for society, and for our world.

Heart-work develops integrity by connecting us with ourselves, others, and the world.  It also develops our sense of wholeness when we realise we have more than enough to share.  Thirdly, it develops our perseverance as we realise our ability to feel and connect knows no limits.

An open heart is essential for our exploration of the universe of possibilities, which is ultimately overflowing with people and relationships – and what we can do together is greater than what we’re able to do on our own or with our exclusive few.  Even the business world is discovering the best way to develop a product is not to create something and to sell it but to involve potential customers in its design.  As David Weinberger said, the wisest person in the room is the room.

The opposite of an opening heart is one that is becoming more closed, where relationships are becoming more exclusive and controlling, where outsiders are seen as numbers and objects and things and, extremely, as less than human.

Cynicism is not scepticism.  Sometimes we have to be wary when opening our lives to others, to ideas, and to particular actions – we can be careful without closing the heart.

SOMETHING TO DO: Whatever you choose to explore in the last doodle’s “something to do,” now share a conversation with the person you took inspiration from and explore the things you’ve been learning about.

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong
Making Room by Christine Pohl


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