Compassion as a Moral Force

The more frequently any of us feels compassion in our daily lives, the more it prevents escalations of violence as a method to deal with the immoral actions of others. Of most import, it doesn’t even matter toward whom we feel that compassion…

 

The compassion we feel for one inhibits our aggression toward others. It’s not that it makes us suckers willing to accept being cheated; it just makes us work to address transgressions through nonviolent means. The upshot is clear: The more frequently any of us feels compassion in our daily lives, the more it prevents escalations of violence as a method to deal with the immoral actions of others. Of most import, it doesn’t even matter toward whom we feel that compassion. As we’ve seen, it will generalize to anyone. What matters is that we try to cultivate it daily, and in so doing, build resilient relationships and societies.

David DeSteno
Northeastern University professor and author, “The Truth About Trust”