147: Spiritual Principle – Compassion (Sort Of)

This month we look at the spiritual principle of compassion. Interestingly, while compassion is the source of the 12 step world, we rarely talk about the principle of compassion by name. You’ll hear honesty, open-mindedness and willingness in most meetings, but when’s the last time you heard someone say compassion? We get into defining compassion, exploring the benefits of compassion, and looking at ways science has said we can increase compassion. And if you have a ton of extra time on your hands, we take a compassion quiz at the end. Listen in and share your thoughts on compassion with us. 

Books Mentioned:

Recovery Dharma – How to Use Buddhist Practices and Principles to Heal the Suffering of Addiction

Click the link above to access on Audible and sign up for a free 30-day trial. When you use our link to sign up, we earn a small commission!

How to find us and join the conversation:





Email: RecoverySortOf@gmail.com

Episodes mentioned:



Polyvagal Theory


Recommended by god:

41: Spiritual Not Religious – What is Spirituality? (Sort Of)

FacebookTweetPin 7/26/20 Spiritual not religious. We say it all the time, but what really is…

131: Spiritual Principle – Courage (Sort Of)

FacebookTweetPin We are talking about courage today. What is courage? How would we develop and…

66: Is There Really a God? (Sort Of)

FacebookTweetPin Is there a god? A higher power? If there is, does this god have…


recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature

welcome back it’s recovery sort of i’m jason a guy and i think i’m compassionate and i’m billy i’m a person in long-term recovery and i’m jenny i’m also a person in long-term recovery and here we are this feels like it’s been forever since we’ve recorded i know we put out episodes every week but man what an exciting summer for everybody yeah we take vacations not everybody

you had tomatoes i’m happy for you guys yeah growing tomatoes doing all kinds of fun stuff uh they’re making our own tomato sauce and within like pesto or cilantro recently yeah i made pesto last night and i made pear uh pear streusel with the pears i grew in my yard it’s been a gardening summer and then my blog was on gardening because that’s all i really did this summer i had to write about something um so yeah it’s uh it’s good to be back good to be recorded we had that free week hopefully people use that to catch up on an episode they haven’t listened to yet um and today we’re going to talk about compassion spiritual principle right we’re in august the eighth month uh compassion one i don’t think i hear about too often on a regular basis in meetings honestly like you hear the honesty the open mindedness the willingness the courage the surrender like i don’t hear compassion you gotta come to a buddhist recovery yeah we talk about compassion all the time i think that’s kind of one of the core tenets of buddhism yes compassion yeah do you feel like you hear about it a lot in in like 12-step meetings though not by that specific wording but the idea behind it is that i mean that’s the whole premise of one adding another you know being there for the newcomer i mean that’s all based in compassion but you don’t hear the specific the word the word or it labeled in that way right right okay yeah yeah i get what you’re saying that is kind of like the core of the entire program we just don’t use the right word for it we just don’t ever say that um so interestingly if you look up compassion the definition is sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others which i feel like is a terrible definition for compassion because i don’t know i guess in my world i’ve been programmed to think of sympathy as kind of a bad thing especially sympathetic pity that sounds terrible yeah that does sound kind of kind of rough yeah just that sympathetic pity and you know using those words and then i was thinking as you said it they don’t use compassion in 12 steps so much even though clearly that’s what you’re doing maybe because it does have like a i feel like 12 steps tends to lean towards like the tough guy image and you know you’re not compassionate that’s for wusses you know and like we don’t pity around here that’s interesting uh you know if you said that i don’t know to me five years ago i probably argued with you that that was a more a a thing than anything because i do feel like i hear those stories of like that that hard knock old timer like sit down shut the [  ] up put the cotton in your mouth that was in your ears and all that kind of stuff like if we want to know where to drink we’ll ask you where the bar is or whatever i don’t know but i i guess honestly when i look at the way i see a lot of people in 12 step interact with people who maybe are doing something slightly different it it does feel like there’s a lack of compassion all around honestly maybe if we named it more often if we said the word we’d practice it better in different ways yeah and in some of our conversations i think that’s what’s missing when people relapse or when you know people overdose and die like it’s the compassion part that’s missing it’s like we we want to rationalize it and justify it instead of being like man that’s [  ] terrible and we should do something different about this right right yeah so like when you see all those uh the posts and there was a couple of them just recently in my circle of people who are in the programs of like oh we lost another one oh you know the disease is so strong oh people gotta surrender and all that stuff it’s like damn where is the compassion it just all seems to be this like helpless oh the disease got another one like well let’s do something let’s be more compassionate maybe right and my understanding of the difference between like sympathy and empathy and compassion is that compassion is whatever sympathy or empathy but with like action attached with you want to help someone in their suffering you want it moves you to do something about their suffering not just feel pity for them you know you want to do something different right right so if we go into the the kind of sciency definitions the ones researchers would create to try to measure or or use and research the idea of compassion so we’ve got uh compassion is the recognition of another suffering and a desire to alleviate that suffering kind of what you just said says it’s often brushed off as a hippy-dippy religious term irrelevant in modern society rigorous empirical data though supports the view of all major world religions compassion is good and another set of researchers defined compassion as the feeling that arises when we are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering so yeah there is this idea right however we want to uh define it there’s this idea of there’s a feeling of oh my god someone is suffering and i care enough that i want to actually take action and do something about that yeah i mean for me i think that’s where the whole uh idea of harm reduction comes in you know what i mean it’s people seeing that suffering and wanting to try to do something about it besides shaming people and making them feel like you know you just need to stop right okay well what can we do to help people in their suffering that kind of brings up an interesting question for me too just this idea of like in order to be a part of that compassionate act of harm reduction right i like how you you say harm reduction is that compassionate peace the idea that we want to do something for these suffering people that maybe aren’t yet ready to enter some program of recovery right it feels like though in that program of recovery and this i’m not saying this is wrong but it feels like you have to actually step outside and not leave the program yourself but you have to step outside of the program in order to do the compassionate acts like they’re not available within the program in that form at least which is kind of weird and then in one of your readings there of the definitions how it was uh they said it was like hippie dippy you know missing from our society like in when i hear that and i would think jenny too it’s like yeah that’s the [ __ ] problem with most of what we do is that it lacks compassion you know like that’s the problem in most people’s everyday life we need more compassion whether it’s in our 12-step fellowships whether it’s in our work environment whether anywhere like everywhere it’s going to make things better right so so i’m i don’t know why but i’m picturing like driving down the street and i get mad at the guy that cuts me off and maybe that’s an area like maybe all these times that i’m getting frustrated that people are imposing on my life maybe there’s room for compassion in those and i don’t know why that came up when you said that but i was just i’m like have you ever seen somebody speeding along the road and they’re like really happy and excited like usually they’re pretty pissed off when you’re driving fast you know what i mean so maybe like recognizing their struggle in that instead of definitely and like so compassion you practicing compassion in that situation it helps you you know like because you’re not going to go into an angry state you know which may go into like oh man my life’s all messed up i have such bad luck or whatever like you can just if you have if you think about the other person and what they might be going through like must be some kind of emergency i mean that’s not to say getting angry is wrong you know like because they shouldn’t be driving recklessly you know but was it only compassion if you like yield over and get out of the way or is it still compassion if you just go oh man he must really be in a hurry and don’t get mad i would say yeah it’s still compassion just you know just don’t get mad you’re like you’re understanding they have their own struggle good luck to you you know i wonder if it’s even don’t get mad like i guess for me that would come with practice i think so if you’re just setting out on like a compassion practice journey you’re not gonna be perfect at first you know but as you come to like roll with it like oh man they have their own thing going on you know like it’ll come more naturally so right now sure you get angry right away but if you practice compassion more when this happens to you a year from now it’s not even you’re not even gonna flinch well i think the thing that i like about it is in like past iterations of this idea in my mind it’s always like kind of creating this false narrative around that person’s life oh my god their kid might be in the hospital oh my god like these reasons right and with this version i feel like i can just say wow i don’t really know what they’re going through but chances are if they’re driving like that they’re probably in some form of suffering man because people like that’s how when i drive like that i’m suffering i’m not a very happy pleasant person so just it’s almost like i don’t need a story now i can just honor that they’re suffering and that’s gotta suck man and maybe i don’t know any action to fix it but maybe i can just you know send words out into the universe for him i know we talk about that as being useless the hopes and prayers but like if nothing else like i don’t have to carry that around and use my own frustration later on my own family when i get home because the guy you know what i mean like that compassion the action isn’t necessarily to benefit them but it is a desire to decrease their suffering and and like what does it talk about in one of our steps like where we can’t make those direct amends willingness serves in its place you know what i mean kind of like that same thing like i’m willing to help that person and they’re suffering it’s just i’m not going to like chase him down in my car and like pull him over and try to talk to him yeah it’s a little psychotic yeah yeah that’s just just a little crazy jenny does in your experience with buddhism or recovery dharma is there like do they have a definition for compassion or is it like is there like a specific like this is compassion yeah i mean like uh i don’t have like the dictionary definition in front of me but buddhist i should have probably looked that up i should have anticipated this question but yeah it’s just um having concern for another person’s suffering you know kind of you know the dictionary definition that jason read well and i found it interesting because in some of my research for this episode i went online and because i don’t like to read i listened to some ted talks and some other speeches and it was uh i’m gonna say more than half the top ones that i found were different buddhists people that were speaking on compassion like wow they got a much better handle on this than we do that’s funny so interest i i went you know i looked up some research but i always try to look through our our na’s literature and see what they have to say and and something occurred to me when i was looking up compassion and it didn’t necessarily occur to me with the rest of the spiritual principles we’ve done so far but i think it holds true for all of them they’re mentioned a lot but there is like a severe lack of instruction on what they actually mean or how to practice them like so many times in our literature it’s like yes we practice these principles of humility and honesty and all that honestly i feel like we kind of know what it means but even though i’m less sure i know what it means anymore but it’s interesting it’s like it’s almost like a noticeable lack of any real instruction on how to do it and i was in i was like wow really why i’ve come to think that’s almost by design because just as we talked about when we did an episode on honesty and how like there’s this general i’m gonna say bad belief when you hear in meetings when you hear about honesty it means you’re supposed to just do it all the time no matter what and as we discussed in that episode like that’s not always true you know what i mean like there are times where it’s you might not necessarily want to be honest or that might not be the principle that you lead with you know going into a situation and that’s you know where having a sponsor working steps figuring out what your morals and values are and what’s important to you because you and i could be in the same situation and i could feel like i was being honest and you could perceive it as being dishonest and you know are we gonna get down to who’s right in those situations or is it more important that i live true to the values and principles that i think are most important right right i don’t know i was sitting there thinking that and i’m like it’s interesting because the the the part there’s part of me that’s like man there’s way too many pieces of literature in our program and it’s a money grab and they just keep making new books and then i was like we need a book about like spiritual principle practice and training well and i don’t know about you but this the idea of compassion let’s say so i’ve heard people say like oh if you’re not getting hurt by newcomers you’re not getting close enough and i know people that have taken newcomers into their homes and taken them into their businesses and giving them jobs and all that and i wouldn’t do that in my life you know i have kids at home and a wife and we’ve done different versions of that but not you know whatever i would practice compassion in a different way you know like that’s not necessarily the way that i would feel best you know inviting a newcomer or someone who’s potentially in like a dangerous situation either into my home or into my place of work i just that’s not how i would apply that yeah i might pay for their recovery house rent right right or help them find a place or hook them up with a roommate or you know there’s a lot of things you can do but you know that that could be perceived as i don’t have enough compassion i’m not willing to open my home and take in you know so that i mean these things they can mean slightly different things to different people right i i appreciate how the 12 steps leave that kind of up to interpretation because it definitely varies by area and people like you know ego like from country to state to county to even like little cliques like different different people gravitate towards whatever people work for them and their system is going to be vastly different than somebody in a different part of the country or even somebody across the county like it’s just so personal i think it’s you know like the spiritual values that we’ve discussed here like the nitty-gritty i don’t think that should be written in stone that should be up to interpretation between the people you know so i’m glad they’re vague about that and actually the you know the vagueness about um spiritual principles behaviors and how to act them out is actually how i came to the buddhist program because i found that my interests and what i wanted to work on was more in line with buddhism so hence why i went to refuge and then recovery dharma um but some people stay with 12 steps because they really like that christian vibe that it’s not supposed to have but definitely does have you know um but like because of what you said you know that that thing you kind of pointed out jason that they’re not they don’t spell it out for you that’s what why i left and found something that jived with me more you know so i think of my own understanding of some of those principles and how you know they would have applied a few years back and then how they apply my life now and how different they are whereas if they were outlined specifically it might feel like oh i have to rigidly stick to this you know even though it’s not working for me that’s it’s fascinating because i i picture that there’s sex

s-e-c-t-s not

there it is i knew we were coming to that um now i guess i just i i picture that there’s portions of people who are out there in the world who are practicing christianity in the way i guess in my head like the very basis of christianity which looks almost exactly like buddhism at its core right just this like hey this is what i believe but like really i just love people and i want to love everybody as if you were all jesus you know right next to me and like i don’t know it’s fascinating that when we feel these draws towards like oh this is what speaks to me that we go a certain route even though i feel like all roots kind of actually are the same as just we delve out into you know so if i go and i decide i want to be catholic well now i got to be tied to this idea of like the virgin mary’s really important to my you know religion and all that but if i just practice like a basic christian theology i guess or whatever like there are no real rules it’s just about being kind to each other and i guess i get the same vibe as i get from buddhism but but you didn’t say like oh i’m feeling drawn to this i’m gonna seek out a more you know rudimentary uh religion or a christian program you were like nope i gotta go to buddhism and i don’t know that’s always well it’s interesting not to get too far off but with compassion you know when you look at at least jesus like he’s the main character he practiced compassion with people like that’s the stories that people tell were all his acts of compassion going out and healing the sick and feeding the poor and going out you know with the homeless and the prostitutes he didn’t just pick on their suffering he went and actually did acts to help their suffering right but that doesn’t seem to be what gets celebrated at least in my experience we tell those stories and we talk about jesus and how great he was and how we’re supposed to be like him but it’s like like say it’s almost like that word compassion is missing in those conversations because that’s what makes him such a heroic character i think you just solve the problem so i’ve always wanted to create a religion right and i’ve always thought like what religion is gonna it’s gonna like you just pointed out what i think is the flaw of christianity and that’s that jesus is the main character i think jesus should be a side character you know what i mean like best supporters like god is supposed to be the main character well they’re the same kind of sort of something i don’t know all right yeah so we’re getting way off no i want to hear more about your own religion i’m interested uh yeah i don’t know i love this storyline keep going first member well no no i wanna i wanna check it out first before i sign anything so uh i guess coming into this episode you know we’ve laid out the definition but what is your feelings of like through your experience in your recovery what has compassion meant to you has it shifted over time has it changed have you gotten a better understanding what kind of things led you to that understanding like what things have you thought about compassion so i in my life i have been compassionate you know i guess throughout my life i’m not gonna give myself like five gold stars but who i wasn’t compassionate to was me so when i started getting an understanding and uh like of what compassion is and what it is practice what the practice of compassion is what it really looks like and then it was suggested how about compassion for yourself because i wasn’t forgiving myself for all the bad ex i wasn’t understanding that you know i drank to cope with trauma and difficulties and i didn’t really know better you know i and so the compassion i was giving to everybody else in the world had to turn in on me i mean and i was like i wasn’t perfect perfectly compassionate to everybody but i certainly gave more to others than i gave to myself so when i when i understood compassion and i turned it in on me that helped the recovery go on like to forgive myself because i was carrying a lot of like self-loathing you know for the way i lived um and i wasn’t getting anywhere as long as i hated me you know and that really makes me wonder like and i’m not trying to take away from your you know four and a half gold stars of compassion practice but i do wonder if so i tend to think we treat others like we treat ourselves right it’s like a a mirror of the way we treat ourselves so if you’re really critical of others chances are you walk around in your head really critical of yourself all day so for you to be able to be compassionate to others but not yourself it’s almost like that comes from like a that still comes from a low self-worth place like oh i gotta let people off the hook in order for them to like me you know what i’m totally like it was a broken that’s the word i was gonna use people pleasing it was like a broken system yeah okay but i was really uh able to like empathize with others and i would you know like try to be this like great friend and and take away from my own self-care needs i didn’t i didn’t have the words for this like i couldn’t speak about it the way i am now but like i was taking away from my own needs to help others because i really felt for them like they need this like you know you haven’t had enough sleep for like a month you know like why don’t you rest you know yeah and i heard a quick story on self-compassion and i’ll try to keep it brief but you know if you picture a kid standing there let’s call the kid becky you know and she gets to go to choose between two schools you’re supposed to make a decision there’s one school that says oh we’re here to teach and educate with love and patience and if she makes mistakes we’re going to help work through those mistakes and you know maybe get some new perspectives and then there’s another school and they say we are you know hard-nosed and when people make mistakes we let them know and we point it out and we you know correct it right away and we’re harsh and disciplinary and and then you said okay which school do you think is better for that kid you know seems like at least for me or most people would say oh the compassionate school seems much better for this kid you know and that makes sense to most of us but what do you do in your own head when you make mistakes you know which one of those are you are you the compassionate forgiving and loving one are you the critical condemning you know punish yourself one and like when it was phrased in that way i was like wow i really am the condemning punishing one in my own head when i make mistakes huh well knock it off you idiot

why’d we have to call her becky that just threw me off right now okay i’m gonna call her something else but the idea is a great example yeah yeah the idea there was really helpful for me because we tend to at least you know in this what he was talking about is we tend to be able to be more compassionate towards other people and we tend to be way less compassionate towards ourselves and it’s not even conscious it’s very subconscious i like that they threw the the kid in there though honestly because that’s generally the way i try to help people cultivate their own self compassion is to like think of themselves as like a six or an eight-year-old if you are able throughout your day to think of the things that your brain says to you but as if it’s saying them to a six or eight year old you’ll probably be appalled by some of those things like we say some mean [  ] to ourselves that we would never ever think to say to some random stranger kid right and it’s just crazy that we can have that kind of like understanding that these are the wrong things to say to someone and yet treat ourselves like that all the time but as an addict too that’s i mean for me that’s kind of i want to say typical of me in a lot of situations like the [  ] i say in my head seems like it makes sense and seems like it’s good information and then i say it out loud to somebody else and it’s like whoa that sounds kind of nuts or that sounds kind of wrong you know once you verbalize it and put it out or think about saying those things to someone else it makes it more real i guess my first uh introduction to compassion was just walking into the rooms of narcotics anonymous and having people not look at me the same way everybody else out in the world seemed to look at me or at least the the look that i felt i got from them i don’t even know if that’s the look they were giving me but that’s what it felt like was like you know that felt like society had this view of like i was just this terrible criminal this like demon basically in the world and i just needed to be punished and sent away and that was the only solution and so to arrive in this place where people were like dude we we know you’ve probably done some horrible things and it’s okay like welcome we want you here and get a hug and it was like damn yeah and even in us sitting here talking i’m thinking just a little bit about we use this word unconditional love a lot in our program but i don’t know if that’s what that is i think it’s more compassion than unconditional love because to be frank i don’t know that i unconditionally love new people that come in the room you know it’s like i don’t just unconditionally love anybody i run into at a meeting anytime but i can definitely express compassion towards people that come into the rooms that i don’t necessarily know because i can relate to their struggles and i’m typically willing to help them in some way shape or form you know get out of that that’s loving though it might not be love like there’s so many different definitions of love but that is a loving act you’re doing right but in the 12th at least in narcotics anonymous it feels like we use that word unconditional love a lot and to me that’s a pretty like unconditional love seems pretty extreme and people say stuff along the lines of like you know i could go anywhere in the world and show up and there’s people like me but there’s also this sentiment of like i love these people because they’re like me right i have like love for addicts just because i i know their struggle and you know there’s like some weird love bond there that we think we have with people we’ve never met just because they’re in the same program as us it is kind of culty actually so that makes me wonder is there like a compassionate bias like it’s easier to be compassionate for some and not others and and i don’t know this because i’m not a mason but it feels like one of those things right you’re like selling somebody a tractor and you’re like oh you’re you see their mason pinky ring or something you’re like oh you’re a mason 2. it’s actually 500 cheaper there buddy like i just like you more even though i’ve never met you because you’re one of one of my kind right and it does feel kind of like that yeah it’s like oh oh you’ve got the n a triangle on you the pyramid oh i’ll treat you nice now like it is kind of weird like why don’t we just treat everybody like that why don’t you yeah that’s a good point i think over time compassion was uh aided and being cultivated in me just through that like that frustration of like you know you get your first or second spin c and they don’t follow your suggestions and they relapse and then you’re bitching to your sponsor about it and your sponsor’s like man like people struggle and you know what i mean it’s like in talking to these other people who are kind of softer and gentler and and maybe it’s uh because they’re not in the situation so their feelings aren’t hurt it’s easier to be softer in general and i think that’s one of the hazards of our program uh with so many or i say our program with 12 step fellowships or at least in my experience in narcotics anonymous with so many people coming in and out and so many people not sticking around like it’s easy to start to lose some of that compassion um and one of the things i listened to online was about the lack of compassion in medical care and how that actually leads to worse outcomes for the patient and worse outcomes actually for the doctor and healthcare providers and you can imagine you know you’re in an er and you see constant suffering and constant pain and constant you know i’m going to say failures of the system because people die or lose a limb or lose a loved one and i think that can happen in our fellowship as well and a natural defense mechanism is to kind of want to pull back or shut down um but in this in this it was a ted talk in this ted talk you know they explained that actually pulling compassion out makes it worse on the person themselves on the health care provider themselves and that when they can still you know find that compassion and tie into that compassion piece it actually well one it led to better health outcomes but it also led to less burnout and less fatigue in the health care provider themselves

this episode has been brought to you in part by voices of hope inc a non-profit recovery organization made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment harm reduction and support resources and mentoring please visit us at www dot voices of hope maryland.org and consider donating to our calls

so we’re designed to be compassionate like human beings aren’t we like i i look at you jason and i the doctor like are we all like chemically designed to be compassionate because we’re like supposed to be helping each other and living as a tribe like isn’t that our natural state to be compassionate and helping everyone i wish i had the research to present to you i know it’s out there that we’re finding more and more that we have a biological imperative meaning there is a necessity in humans in order to function properly in our bodies that we have to be connected to other people and i think compassion is either a byproduct of being connected to people or maybe it inspires connection to people there’s got to be some equivalent there because if you’re connected to people you give a [  ] and you want to do something and i feel bad because one of the ted talks i listen to or one of the the talks i listen to went specifically through exactly that our biological development they actually and i’m gonna miss most of the key points but one of the things they said is they think that’s actually why uh the homo sapiens advanced and the neanderthal died out was because they lacked compassion like compassion was a key ingredient of why they think one succeeded over the other so their grandma was like hobbling and couldn’t keep up with the tribe and they just bashed her over the head with a [  ] mallet and left her yeah so there is at least some theory or data again i didn’t log all that into my brain or take notes but there was in like 10 minutes of this talk we’re specifically about our biological development and how compassion is a key component well and i got to be honest for me it’s more important that i understand that it is like i’ll let the researchers remember all the [  ] numbers and how they came to the conclusion i’m like yeah it matters that’s what i got we need that [  ] um you know one thing that occurred to me this morning on the drive here and i was like wow this seems kind of relevant is that you know we talk about this definition being that we see the suffering in others and we want to do something about it and i feel like this is something that a lot of us do pretty regularly right like it comes i want to say naturally i don’t know but i feel like we all do it whether it’s with our kids or or close loved ones or close friends like we do care that they’re suffering and we do act in ways to fix it and yet it does not look compassionate and and i find that fascinating it’s almost like a some sort of negative or over attachment experience right because like okay say your kid uh i don’t know this happened to me recently my three-year-old fell and skinned her knee in a parking lot when we were getting ice cream and she was crying right the compassion welled up in me right i was frustrated like she’s hurt i want to do something about it but here’s the problem there’s nothing i can [  ] do about it honestly right and so my reaction is to get mad because i can’t tolerate the fact that she’s hurting and i can’t do anything about it and then i just start blaming her mother and i’m like why the [  ] weren’t you holding her hand what’s wrong with you we were in a parking lot cars could have hit her like she should have never felt like i go in to try to and i think what i’m doing is removing the problem from next time right i’m helping by i’m gonna make sure this doesn’t happen again but the truth is what i’m doing is shaming the [  ] out of my you know her mom who was just trying to carry ice creams across the parking lot and i’m not actually creating any better feeling for my daughter either because she’s just seeing me like frustrated and angrily yelling like there’s a compassionate action in there that’s just like hugging her and being able to sit with her in her pain until it passes and yet i that’s the piece that’s missing in this like over attachment to others feelings so when i feel responsible for other people’s feelings and i try to fix them that’s like a negative it’s a convoluted attachment right i’m not supposed to be attacked like people’s feelings aren’t my responsibility and yet our parents give us this i know i’m saying a lot of [  ] right here sorry but like okay so you’re growing up you’re a kid you do something your parent gets mad they make their feelings your responsibility they say you need to change how you act in order for me to change my feeling of anger and like that’s a that’s a terrible thing that that really puts the that creates people pleasers honestly that creates what jenny was talking about and not to go too down a weird rabbit hole with all this but is that a compassion response or is that more like a nervous system fight or flight response like oh my god i just saw my kid get hurt and now like yeah can i be active i’ve i’ve went into this defensive state and can i add to if you had just stayed in the moment you were projecting way out in the future i don’t want this to ever happen again if you just stayed in the moment like and did what that moment required instead of projecting next time we get ice cream you know like right you know like that whole train of thought would have been avoided if you just practice staying in the moment well i think what takes me out of the moment is the over-attachment right so i’m overly attached to my daughter’s feelings being my responsibility and i literally cannot fix it right now so like my body goes into what’s the next best thing well first it goes into anger i can’t fix and i’m supposed to right that’s my job and so then it’s like well what can i do well i can use this anger to belittle somebody to make sure they do the right thing next time that that same school you were talking about the school that uh you know doesn’t take no [ __ ] and make sure people get it right the next time it goes into that mode but i guess i don’t want us to get confused with that at one i think it ties in because i think it is the desire to be compassionate that wells up in us and it could very well be tied into the nervous system for sure but the second part of it is i don’t think we know how to be actually usefully compassionate there because we weren’t shown that from our parents our parents didn’t show up they were just as mad when we hurt ourselves and told us you shouldn’t have been playing like that i told you that right told you last week you shouldn’t run in flip-flops and then we fell and so it’s like they want to do something and yet because they don’t know how we do the wrong thing yeah and i think we lack emotional education emotional uh teaching like in our school and in our society a lot to be in touch with that because immediately you know and i believe i read this too that you know what you’re going through there is your defense response like someone that i love is hurt i need to defend them protect them whatever but historically millions of years ago the way we evolved for that was that threat was a lion a another tribe uh something that we had to physically go get physically go attack physically defend and nowadays those things are i’m not going to say minimal but somewhat minimal but our response is the same you know what i mean like somebody’s hurt i need to go do something or attack somebody or get you know so your system you know immediately fires way up you go into this fight mode and you need to go get something right right now and unfortunately it becomes your loved one because they’re the closest and you can’t punch it’s there or you can punch the concrete but it’s probably just gonna hurt you it’s gonna be pointless i guess i i just found that pretty fascinating that like we could probably call that compassion because it does feel in that moment like i have so much care that i’m you know i need to do something about directed compassion yeah it kind of is and i i i guess i just wanted to have some note of that in here because it sounded interesting i could see me running around being like i’m so compassionate yelling at my kids that they shouldn’t be running in flip-flops um so why does compassion matter i mean research definitely has this you probably heard a ton of this in your ted talks that you were listening to compassion can reduce the risk of heart disease by boosting the positive effects of the vagus nerve which is the nervous system which helps to slow our heart rate so compassion i guess would be the thing in those moments when our heart rate fires up due to the nervous system going into you know that sympathetic response that fight-or-flight response compassion is the ability to slow that all down and keep it you know in a relegated mode or zone compassion also makes people more resilient to stress and strengthens the immune response so i guess you won’t get as sick and can tolerate work stress i don’t know that was one one of the work stress things was exactly that people that were you know in these healthcare positions uh the the example they used specifically was a uh what they call an oncologist someone that has to tell someone that they have cancer their job was to you know give that information to their patients and when they were able to put in they said just 40 seconds of compassion they found that just adding that 40 seconds of compassion like reduced missed time at work reduced their overall burnout and fatigue it made them more uh engaged at their job overall so it had these positive like health benefits for the individual that was giving the compassion you know what’s fascinating about that because you were telling me a little about this the other day and you said it was like this 40-second like script basically that you know that was thrown into the just a script that was written right i’m wondering if they were like trained on like how to say it because i feel like you could just read those words like a robot and not be compassionate at all but like the way you said it when you were telling me about it i was like yeah that is really compassionate it feels great but i’m like i wonder if they get like a quick little training on like you know uh because that’s a lot of what you know we did that episode on polyvagal theory and it talks about the it’s the tone of the voice the facial expressions all of these things are what convey the feeling of being connected and close to people and feeling comfort when you look at other people and you’re talking to them and i i guess i wonder if they got any of that vocalization training or any of that along with it yeah but it’s fascinating you know one of the things they call in the therapy world you know they call it burnout but they also refer to it as compassion fatigue like you start to lose the ability to feel and want to help the other person that’s across from you and i did find a lot of information on that as well but i didn’t venture down that path too much myself but there was a lot of information on uh caregiver compassion fatigue things that you can do about that and you know it’s a real thing yeah yeah compassionate people are more socially adept making them less vulnerable to the negative health effects of loneliness so i guess maybe during covert people who have a high level of compassion didn’t struggle as much when we were in lockdowns and stuff like that that’s interesting yeah that’s interesting because it almost flips in me with the idea that we need that human connection and that human interaction you know feels like that’s a needed part of compassion right right i wonder if that’s based on like this idea you know there was another uh mode of therapy where they talk about we need this connection with other people and yet after establishing connections with people in our lifetime we can cultivate this ability to like hone in to the parts of that person we carry with us so like if your grandmother on sick days at school you know your parents went to work and used to go over grandma’s and she would make you chicken noodle soup like you can actually make yourself now chicken noodle soup when you’re sick but as you’re eating it like remember those thoughts of grandma taking care of you and it sort of wells up that connection to people even without anybody being present wow i wonder if it’s something along those lines yeah sounds like nostalgia um we have an episode on that yeah um also but when people were on lockdown if you were versed in compassion you had a reason to be on lockdown so maybe it made the situation more bearable yeah so instead of like what do you mean i can’t go to the store and buy my ar-15s right this is dumb it was more like i feel really good about staying home because i know i’m protecting you know my grandma who’s really vulnerable and my cousin who’s got some vulnerabilities to this maybe it was something like that yeah because if there’s a purpose behind you know what could be viewed as suffering having to stay home suffering you know but if there’s purpose behind it as cultivated from compassion made it easier to deal with that’s a nietzsche right uh he who has a y can endure almost any how that’s exactly what i was going for

last piece of things that they have found out that are beneficial from compassion compassionate societies those that take care of their most vulnerable members assist other nations in need and have children who perform more acts of kindness are the happiest societies so if you’re looking for happiness yeah that actually there was a documentary that i uh watched a few years back on netflix called happiness or happy i can’t remember exactly but and that was one of the things that they pointed out is in these nations in these countries or regions where they were more compassionate they found more happiness was it denmark um it was some like weird uh asian cultures that we’re like out in the middle of nowhere that you know we’re like still in that tribal phase where there was just a few hundred people and you could be compassionate towards each other yeah it was pretty interesting did they have smartphones i don’t think so hmm now they’re gonna listen to this episode and you call them weird yeah there you go why say weird in that they’re not caught up in the modern technologies and advancements of current society so it was a compliment yes listeners in those weird countries i keep looking for these ways that we can go back to a healthy way of living that don’t involve like blowing up the technology where i don’t i haven’t found them yet so that’s not good um maybe that’ll be part of your religion one of the things to be honest that’s yeah i’m not ready to give up zippers yet you gotta give up zippers don’t use zippers you don’t use zippers i mean i guess every every like sect s-e-c-t has their own rules but picture sex but yeah zippers are not part of their thing oh did the word sex s-e-x exist when they created the word s-e-c-t-s sex because i feel like that was a really terrible use of vocabulary like we’re going to invent this other word that sounds just like fornication my family and i are looking for sex can we join your sex anyway uh oh what were we going to say you were going to tell us about that so yeah i almost forgot and we’re not on that anymore no there’s something in our society called the jiges effect or guidance effect which have you heard of this you know what it is so the idea um of the gigas effect it’s the way in which the internet can encourage a dis inhibition people simply would not experience face to face so it’s that’s real the idea comes from like a plato did a play where there was a guy and he made an invisible cloak so that he could sneak in and like murder the king and steal his wife and all this stuff and sort of one of the themes or ideas that came up in the play where well could any man really resist the temptations if they were invisible and that this moral morality was a social construct so that’s the idea in plato’s play and now how that’s playing out within our society with the internet or social media or places where you’re not having that one-on-one interaction so what would you do if nobody would ever know right when you can be anonymous yeah and you can be you know not responsible not held accountable yeah you know because if you’re in you know some other country some other state you don’t know where i am i can say whatever i want you can’t really do anything right yeah in 12 steps they were they encouraged me or the group to like do acts of kindness and not tell anybody about it did you get that encouragement too people always did though they couldn’t help but brag but they needed that i don’t you know that’s a that’s a tricky one right because like i i don’t know that i necessarily anybody told me that idea but i do like the idea and somewhere along the line i came into this idea of like i want to do things and not tell anybody and yet then there’s this weird line because i’m rigid sometimes and i get like like i want to talk to somebody not about what i did because i’m trying to glorify it because i’m trying to share like hey i did this thing and it felt really good maybe you would want to do something like that too because they’re talking about a similar situation and then i feel like i can’t well that’s the right motivation your intention is better so i think because you have to teach the next you know generation of recovering addicts you know like i did this it made me feel this way you should try it why aren’t you being compassionate towards yourself by bragging about some of the good acts that you do isn’t that self-compassion i’m not sure i’m not sure but that effect i think that’s totally absolutely a thing even with the telephone i’ve had those experiences you know i’ve worked at jobs where you can talk to someone on the telephone and they’ll yell and scream and i’ve done it too you’ll say all kinds of things that if you were standing in an office talking to a person you probably wouldn’t act that way right you know or if there were other people around you probably would you know well they’re human right you become dehumanized just because you’re not face to face interaction so if this isn’t necessarily just an immediate thing it’s a thing that’s been happening over our culture slowly over the last 50 60 years and i think it’s just getting worse so now we’re seeing less compassion less empathy because of this effect i agree with you so let’s look at the ways to increase compassion because there are scientifically you know vetted i guess wayne’s social media well it’ll be it’ll be interesting to see because like the first one i already read and it’s uh it’ll be interesting to see how we don’t do these things and maybe that’s why our our political landscape looks so awful right now um so the first one seeing yourself as similar to others increases feelings of compassion yeah i don’t feel like we do that we other people we don’t see them as similar to us we’re like oh those people over there are like this and and maybe that’s kind of what’s happening when we’re able to be on the phone or on the internet more anonymously it’s like oh we can treat these other people like this instead if we were all in a room together like you know if you get in a room with people who are of a different political party and you guys just talk about your lives probably really really simple their lives right they’re not that different so that’s interesting right or some of these polls that they do with people without asking their political affiliations or whatever you start to see that most people are way closer on things than they’re apart right so seeing yourself as similar to others and it says they actually did a study where people tap their fingers to the same rhythm as a stranger and then they increase their compassionate behavior because of that just by tapping your fingers in the same rhythm so let’s go ahead go out and tap your fingers with people in the mall dining area or something um another way is to encourage cooperation over competition so one study showed that describing a game as a community game increased players levels of cooperation and sharing behavior while calling the same game the wall street game made the players more ruthless and less honest which is interesting just by the name of the [ __ ] game right it’s crazy it feels like that changes your motivation yeah changes wall street feels like i gotta get the most oh right but i i mean maybe we should change wall street maybe we should all invest in the uh community stock market right maybe we’ll all be nicer and less lying um see people as individuals rather than abstractions you know they say things like this and it doesn’t feel like that’s like yeah of course that’s a way to increase compassion but that doesn’t feel like a way to practice increasing compassion when you’re already trying to like do i just walk around and i’m like billy’s not an abstraction he’s a person you know what i mean like there’s not an actual thing there it’s just like change your mind um so it says when asked to support an anti-hunger charity people were more likely to give money after reading a story about one particular starving girl than after reading statistics on starvation and i’ve heard some of that with altruism like if you’re you know looking to practice altruism it’s like if you just look at a general overall problem there’s it feels almost overwhelming like your little contribution can’t do anything but when you can bring it down to the level of an individual well your hundred dollars a month probably would help one individual might not solve the whole problem but for the cost of a cup of coffee a day just where i was going old sally struthers they’ll send you updates when the family are helping billy do you know when those with the um the animal ones the humane when that commercial comes on i have to change it because i’m like don’t ruin my day

and not to throw off some things you know where you’re going but i wonder if compassion towards animals has the same impact or effects as compassion towards other people hmm i almost feel like in my version in my head we have too much compassion for animals and not enough for people that’s what it feels like a lot of times when i interact with the world at large i feel like that too but as well because people i mean pets don’t really hurt you unless they die right you know they don’t like talk back they don’t disagree they don’t have differing opinions there’s no work involved in keeping the relationship going you just show up and they love you i don’t know that’s my own take on that i feel like an [  ] now i’m still thinking it through i don’t see how loving animals could be negative i mean maybe people have hurt you so much that’s what you’re left with you know you’ve been so disappointed by human beings that’s just where people connect i just wonder if you’re getting the benefits of compassion in your life if you’re just compassionate towards animals or if it really requires that human right yeah it’s a connection that human interaction that’s a good question because it’s just about you giving love right you know like does it matter if you get it back the compassion part is you giving so don’t you get love back from animals though you sure do but i mean but like you know like you’re you’re wondering if if giving love to humans or giving love to animals has the same benefit i would say yes because you’re just giving you’re not worried about the receipt back i feel like there’s some fundamental difference and it kind of ties into what i was just saying and maybe this is just a really cynical view of the world but i i think there’s something about i don’t have to do anything ah see well and where are they coming at or what i’m thinking with this is i don’t know if you remember the idea or saying at least in you know 12 step fellowship we went to where it’s like if you want to get in a relationship like you get a plant and then you get a pet right and you get a relationship or something like that as some cliche people used to say and to me the idea there is if you come into you know recovery and you’re so hurt and broken that you don’t trust people when you don’t have a lot of compassion or you don’t have that muscle you know maybe you can start with a pet or something that isn’t as dangerous and start expressing compassion there and then develop it over time to be able to expand out that is totally not what i got out of that the lesson i thought that they were trying to teach with that or at least the way i feel like it was expressed to me was that get a plant and if you can do what it takes to keep a plant alive then try a pet and if you can do what it takes to keep a pet alive then you might have the ability to put in the work regularly to take care of a relationship i just thought that was about whether you had like the willingness and the effort and the work and all that i thought it had more to do with like just being able to humanly connect with people like to to get away from that like animalistic living of you have what i want so i’m gonna take you know you heard me so i’m gonna hurt you back like that stuff anyway go home and like take your little potted plant and drink the water out of it like you don’t need this water i’m stealing a piece of [  ] sitting around here all doing nothing you lazy [ __ ] plant all right let’s see if you evolve into a cactus when you don’t have any water

i don’t know there’s something weird in my head and i i hope maybe somebody who knows a lot more about this can come on and tell us about it but there’s something weird in my head about the way we cling to our care for animals but not humans and i don’t know exactly what that is i have all these things i put on it that are negative because i look at people as negative sometimes but well i think it’s weird when people do like i think there’s room in a lot of people’s lives for both like you can be compassionate towards animals and then be compassionate towards people too i think where it gets a little weird is when you see these people that are like these over the top and i’m just gonna say like dog lovers or animal lovers and then they’re like completely shitty to people like their dog has more rights than another human being should like to me that’s where it gets a little weird but i think it’s great when people can do all or both yeah well i i always wonder what’s happened to that person like they must have been really hurt and then that’s where they went but um in defense of people who overdo it with loving their animals um the animals also like can’t speak up for their needs like a human can so maybe they’re they’re being like like an advocate for the animals because they do have feelings and needs that don’t always get met so the people are using their strength to help them and that’s all right moving on before i sound any worse uh believe in your power to do good when we believe we’re able to make a difference we’re less likely to suppress our feelings of compassion and and this could possibly be what happened in that ice cream situation with my daughter right maybe i didn’t feel like i could do good for her in that moment and so i suppress the compassion feeling towards her and went some other route right but maybe if i could believe like man if i just sit here and i just hold her and hug her and you know it’ll eventually feel better maybe that could work i think about the parents who like when they have their babies the baby’s crying and they do the cried out method like instead of your instincts they’re usually telling you like go comfort your baby but then somewhere along the line society was like no they gotta toughen up right and then we find out down the road that the babies who cry it out have like serious like attachment issues and trauma and like so the mommies and daddies like fought their instinct for compassion you know because they were told to tough it out and like we have to shed that you know before we can evolve well and compassion is difficult i mean what we haven’t kind of really talked too much about is is part of compassion is the empathy piece of trying to connect to someone’s suffering and like it’s it’s hard sometimes to want to meet someone at a level of suffering like it’s it’s painful to see someone that you love or people that you care about suffering and hurting um and it’s a lot easier to well not easier but it’s a defense mechanism to like blame or rationalize or point out what they didn’t do for themselves or why this happened to them versus just feeling that hurt you know that’s that’s a hard thing to do sometimes especially if you’re struggling in your own life and you’re not you know feeling overly uh loving or cared about you know then to try to relate to someone else’s suffering it’s like well we all [  ] suffer you know suck it up get on with it that’s what i gotta do that’s what you should do right now i think you’re absolutely right i’m picturing somebody uh i’m actually picturing myself in different you know places in my life when i was depressed and like i didn’t want to [  ] be around me because it was awful god it was so negative and so down and so eeyore but exponentially worse and it’s like who the [  ] can tolerate that for long to be around and be compassionate towards you like i i don’t know it’s really really tough um so that can be challenging for sure meditation yeah sit with a heart stop so that was you know when you talked about some of the things that can promote compassion one of the self-compassion methods i heard someone mentioned was just taking a couple minutes you know with meditation or even some deep breathing exercises taking your hands and you know putting them across on your heart that touch that you know personal connection with yourself um and just thinking some good thoughts you know trying to put yourself in a better place and that actually can reduce that uh nervous system excitement that you know that fight-or-flight response you know you can sort of bring that down just a little bit to begin to open the door for compassion or empathy yeah and that is on our list for sure a number of studies like there is limitless numbers of studies that have shown that compassion or loving-kindness meditation practices and even a couple other studies that show that it doesn’t even matter what kind of meditation practice you do but all of these have the ability to increase our our action of compassion after the fact notice how good compassion feels studies about compassion show that compassion action activates the rewards brain center so just i guess sometimes what we are realizing in the therapy world is that we can do these positive things and then we never stop to actually associate them in our brains because if you’re acting in a survival mode your your frontal lobe your higher level human thinking is not really talking to the part of your brain that’s in that survival mode so there’s they lose communication and so sometimes you’re just going through life in this frequently survival mode and just acting and so you don’t actually have the ability like the connection’s not made and so it’s stopping after a compassionate act and being like actively recognizing hey that felt really good when i did this thing for this person and associating those two behaviors together or the behavior and the feeling together parents teachers and caregivers research suggests that compassion is contagious so if you want to help teach and cultivate compassion in children the best practice is to lead by your own example so that’s a way i guess to help others increase their compassion jenny you want to do a quiz do we have time ah [  ] it i mean if it’s a fun quiz yeah

all right this quiz is called are you as compassionate as you think you are oh yeah i’m gonna score well

so um you i think your answers will be similar i guess we’ll just we’ll we’ll figure out how to store it anyway do you care about other people of course not really depends who they’re useful so yes ooh i would say the first one of course of course do you care about other people yeah i think of course there’s definitely some people yeah there’s always a little bit of depends here yeah i’m in between depends who and yes of course do you know what emotional labor is it’s either yes or no sounds dumb no sounds hard or yes but it’s super hard do you know what emotional labor is i’m gonna say no but it sounds hard one of those choices yeah that’s the only choice i i got because i don’t know what to familiar phrase okay that’s because you two are men okay um is it the nine months that’s not a very sexist jenny is this the nine-month birthing of compassion emotional labor so emotional labor is like i i’ve always heard of it in the classic like um mother father role like dad goes to work comes home you know does some family stuff chills mom goes to work but then she has to organize the family schedule take care of kids hurt feelings think about what’s going on uh this week you know whatever so like mom takes on a more of the emotional labor where dad comes home from work and chills that’s the context i’ve always heard emotionally so the the supposedly dictionary definition the mental activity required to manage or perform the routine tasks necessary for maintaining relationships and ensuring smooth running of a household or process typically regarded as an unappreciated or unacknowledged burden born disproportionately by women i the only fascinating part of that definition is the fact that it’s the definition for emotional labor and it starts with mental activity that doesn’t that seems like a misnomer like that sounds like i see the difference yeah i see the difference but i guess it’s putting in like the care and concern that’s the emotional part for the mental process whereas men well this doesn’t sound totally sexist it’s not like this for every house probably accurate i’m gonna say some sexist stuff soon but um yeah it’s usually the women who like run the house all the mental work and like giving a [ __ ] you know like tending to make sure everybody’s happy and that things run smoothly that usually falls on the women in a household family household but i’ve also heard that that’s because of uh women’s like the biology like that they’re wired more to be emotionally aware and that actually women uh cause most divorces basically because they are way more sensitive to emotional uh needs than men are men are way more likely to just put up with it or just whatever whereas women are more sensitive or interesting

i don’t know i don’t know if i believe any of that but that was wild to say out loud glad you said it i’m repeating something i heard somewhere i won’t say who said it so i’m just um that’s interesting i think we do what our parents did so i think i’m running my household the way you know i saw my mom do it i take care of the social schedule and make sure everybody’s happy that’s and i probably go overboard with the making sure everybody’s happy you know like some of this is on you but you know i think i think it’s just we’re conditioned by what our parents did what their parents did et cetera and in our house it’s not like that like i’ve handled much more of the kids like scheduling and getting them to events now they’re older so they drive themselves but i handled all that stuff on the physical level but i still think my wife was way more emotionally in tune with them than i ever was even though i did the logistical like i always and that’s the way i looked at it i’m like oh that’s all the logistics like i do logistics yeah i remember you sharing about that that you you were like when you you wanted your kids get into sports so that was like on you yeah i did all their sports stuff even with the girls when they were doing horseback riding and gymnastics and dance and all that so i did all that stuff i was the [  ] dad sitting there dance class you know like but probably but i don’t know that that for me at least was overly emotional like i never considered that emotional labor i don’t know yeah it’s funny that the word emotional and mental well you gave a [  ] so that is the emotional part like you you gave you were emotional enough to put in the mental action so it starts with emotion sure thanks i’ll take that credit since i’m already on the [ __ ] list for the sexist comments

i i think the only thought i have about whether men are biologically different is that we cannot possibly parse out what the [  ] is natural because from the moment you find out a baby is male or female even pre-birth you start acting different towards them because of our our society and because of our own parents and upbringing so i just i really feel like we it’s we’re in an impossible place where we can’t know what the [  ] men and women actually look like naturally because we have so much societal pressure that pushes them one way or the other so i i don’t know what’s natural and i can just say too though almost everything in all these areas where we never know if it’s nature or nurture comes out to its sum of both like it’s always some of both you know even in studies with like you know identical twins and all that stuff they realize like a lot of it’s genetic but then other parts of it aren’t and you know i mean at this point it just kind of probably changes from month to month in my own brain but i’m like what percentage of it of what we look at as male and female qualities now we’re actually there pre-birth right like we’re at conception i don’t know like 20 maybe and maybe we exaggerate it by 80 i mean that’s like a [  ] guess in my head i have no idea but i don’t think it’s 50 50 anymore i think we really especially in our country in the united states i think we exponentially make male and females so so different i don’t think we are as different as that by far i think it’s changing though and i felt silly even making the sample like the example of the family being a man and woman parent you know like because we are changing and i feel like even my example is old-fashioned now two wives jenny two uh all right what’s next did you ever bully anyone as a child uh no i was bullied yes it was fun i don’t think so but people tell me i did yes but we made up later and it was okay so i’m the third i don’t think so and this was when i was an adult like i never consider myself a bully at all when i was in school i was always this little tiny short kid i was one of the smallest kids growing up in almost every grade and i ran into a kid i went to school with and he’s like yeah i remember you you know you used to pick on me all the time and i was like really like i don’t remember that at all and it was it made me think very differently about my memories i mean my first reaction is that i was definitely bullied but i feel like there’s these few moments in my head that stick out where i’m like i tried to pass that on to the next weakest person around so i feel like i probably perpetrated that in some ways even though i was more often the victim that quiz doesn’t have the right options on that yeah because i think back to my own i mean i was bullied a little but then i also bullied people too so that should be an option yeah both that’s right then all right i’ll take care of that uh when you see a sad news story how long do you feel bad hours or i don’t know these people why would i feel bad or a minute or a couple minutes i’m going to say a couple minutes definitely not hours yeah some of them for me are yeah if i hear the right story i’m thinking about it it is yeah some stories i hear from like yeah like when i hear some stories from like the down syndrome community it will like haunt me yeah there are some ah i guess it’s a mixture i’m gonna put hours cause i think we all okay we all have suffered from that make us sound better i don’t care yeah it’ll take hours do you give to charity of course no only at christmas time once or twice of course how about you billy yeah i mean well i don’t do the finances jen does but we do and i don’t object do you give to homeless people yes they need help no they’re all on heroin no they’re all con men sometimes if it’s obvious and i have money on me no but for very different reasons than any of those yeah i’ll go with sometimes i feel like i’m shifting towards just the yes but it’s definitely more often now that i do i don’t have the argument in my head so much of like what are they going to do with this like what the [  ] ever man either i buy him some food and just give it to him or i give him some money and it is what it is like [ __ ] it okay remember if you give you’re not supposed to tell anybody you got to keep your keys out i can’t answer that question

uh do you gossip behind people’s backs only if i’m really worried about them yes and also to their face yes it’s fun only when someone else started it i am and only when somebody else i try not to gossip but if somebody else i will i will listen so i do it and i sometimes initiate it but it’s usually based in like not for the joy of dismissing them like i need to figure out what to do about this that’s true yeah only if i’m really worried about them that was one of the things yes only if i’m really worried about them and that’s usually my motivation so yeah that’s probably close but i can’t help it sometimes if it’s juicy i’m like tell me more so i i’m gonna say yes only if i worry about them with the caveat that it’s also possibly i’m worried about some other thing that is involved in the situation right like maybe i’m maybe i’m worried about a co-worker not necessarily because i have a ton of connection to them but i’m worried about how their actions are affecting the practice as a whole right because i care about our practice and i think we do a good job and i don’t want to see the actions of one person like not contribute to that or to take away from that so it’s a care about something that matters at least okay none of these sound like compassion when are we going to hear about saving bugs patients i don’t kill the spider lanternflies no wow even the chesapeake bay foundation was like kill these people and they’re like environmentalists that’s so ridiculous to me we’re not going to get rid of them yes they’re an invasive species but you know what at this point you’re not going to just get rid of them because you kill them when you see them my husband thinks they’re gonna like doesn’t think killing them will do anything it’s gonna be something’s going to figure out to eat it like something something eventually it’ll become prey yeah well it’s here now it’s just my point like just because you kill the ones you see you’re not killing the ten thousand you don’t see you mean you’re never gonna do anything right like we just got to suck it up i don’t know i’m just feeling like it’s such a stupid method like yes kill them when you see them that’ll get rid of all of them it’s an interesting experiment like can you can we rally drive down the road you’ll see a tree it’s got like a hundred thousand of them all around blow the tree up i have not seen that i mean i see him here and there but not like that that’s we went up to the renaissance festival in pa and they’re pretty driving up there and there was i mean i say thousands at least hundreds just all over the trunk of the street wow no i haven’t seen that wow all right next question do you think poor people are generally poor because of bad choices generally no yes obviously usually or a few are what was the first one generally no are poor people poor because of bad choices generally no or yes obviously what if they’re poor because of bad choices but they’re not their choices yeah it’s like what if they’re poor because the choices that all of us have made as we made legislation about how we’re going to run our country that’s a generally no i think i think i think you know do you believe in universal health care of course no screw the poor no because venezuela that’s why and also please ignore scandinavia unless sure i don’t know sure i just don’t know that it’s workable in the us i want to know the background stories for scandinavia they have universal health care and in venezuela it’s super terrible they have universal health care but it’s a [ __ ] show because their country’s bankrupt so it’s terrible but in scandinavian countries it’s great universal healthcare yeah me too all right same do you believe in trying to be christ-like more than preaching about christ i try or preaching is way more fun i believe in it but i don’t do it sure that sounds like me i would say yes i do yeah okay i try do you tell people about your charitable giving i forgot this question always trying to turn water into wine what’s happening um do you tell people about your charitable giving only if it might get them to give to or yes i’m lying about it yeah yes it’s rare so i like to make sure they know and only sometimes so the obvious like only sometimes the obvious like jerk who does this quiz all that answer they’re always funny they’re the funny one i mean i share with people because it’s part of my giving to the community like it’s part of my financial take on what we’re supposed to do with our money like give that 10 back to the community but well i’m pretty sure when you research into altruism like they encourage you to talk about it they want you like if you’re in this altruistic movement it’s encouraged that you share what you’re doing and why and the benefits of it like they they say that’s you know part of that process involves talking about it well didn’t we say compassion was contagious like when we were saying how to do it like if i don’t if nobody sees my i mean there’s a different textbook right and there’s a difference with anything that you come out all like braggadocious and look at me and how great i am like if you do that with anything you kind of look like a jerk

um that’s true because we talked about it earlier it’s about the intention if you want if you tell people because you want to encourage them to give too then that’s a good intention so if you saw a colleague hiding in the break room looking sad what do you do offer to talk to them make your coffee and get out smile awkwardly or offer them a cookie skip the coffee and run away depends on how early in the morning if it’s early morning i’m getting out of there definitely talking to him yeah i talk to him me too if your friend called with an emergency but you were at work would you leave yes or no which part of i’m at work was confusing uh depends what time of day if it’s like 2 pm then it’s good because i can help my friend and still be home early uh depends which friend oh oh why do i have such an allegiance to work that’s what came up for me when you read that i’m like why the [ __ ] do i feel so strongly tied to my i would say it depends on which friend and what the problem was yeah i was thinking too like say emergency like i don’t know think think bad like they’re stuck at uh yeah like if they were broke down on the side of the road

that’s hilarious to me because i’m like you’re broke down you can [ __ ] figure that one out like your family members dying in the hospital now i’m coming right like that’s a little more emergency for me okay well whatever emergency but i have flexibility at my work to do that most of the time yeah that’s a tough question because i mean some jobs you can’t leave right you know like if you’re looking at employers right mm-hmm yeah i’m saying i’m probably leaving if it’s one something i constitute as an emergency yeah yeah if i constitute this emergency i believe yeah um if there were five donuts in a box and six people what would you do cut up all the donuts in a quarter so everyone gets a fair piece and they can all so and they can also taste all the different donuts would you eat two would you eat one or ask if anyone doesn’t feel like a donut but then quietly so that you can take one hide the box in my office and have powdery fingers all day why would you cut them into quarters to be fair why wouldn’t you cut them all into six pieces that way everybody gets to taste each one that seems yeah six pieces of it wow uh yeah i don’t know i’d probably just eat one and run

right i would wait till last i’d wait until everyone else took one and it depends on what kind of donuts they got man they got my favorite they’re probably right they got ones i’m like yeah all right i’ll probably just let everybody see them nobody’s cutting them into quarters or six or anything that’s to me it’s more what is that i love that oh where am i that there’s only five doughnuts and six people yeah you know because sometimes i’m not even just like oh there’s doughnuts i take one i don’t count how many people and how many donuts it is kind of first come first serve you know yeah i do that wrong compassion thing where i see five donuts and six people and i’m like who the [ __ ] got these donuts you didn’t buy enough for all of us next time make sure you do the head count

i’ll fix this situation for the next now come on be where the donuts are come back to the present um i’m eating a doughnut probably uh do you cry easily yes not since i was two only if things are really bad only if i’m in private this depends so what are we constituting crying like literal tears running down your face or you know when your eyes just kind of fill up with water like that already that happens that’s crying right yeah let’s do that one it just happened to me like right before the show somebody was telling me like some really great news and i was like that’s so great like yeah yeah i’ve been saying that happens all the time all the time yeah uh do you know how to compartmentalize temporarily so you can be there for others yes it’s hard for me i do it on a permanent basis so i can be there for me i don’t need to do that do i and i wish so i’m gonna say yes because it’s actually like a job requirement for me that’s true i have to yeah i’m gonna more say i hope so i’m not sure if i’m doing it and i know i compartmentalize because i don’t like to break down in front of the kids like i i do that maybe too much oh yeah then yes okay uh do you like most people yes no definitely most i like about half i’d say most i like most people not so it’s not a straight yes it’s a most people or oh i’m sorry i like people in general this says define like the third one so it’s yes no or define most and i like about half so are you saying yes i’m saying yes okay i’ll go with yes i’m also a yes i like most people mostly it’s kind of new for me but i kind of like most people now if there is a news story about someone dying on the far side of the world and one about the same thing in your country do you feel roughly the same empathy for the families of course yes zero no it’s sadder if they are more like me and then i know i should but i don’t i have an example of that so when the you know the war broke out in ukraine i was like very emotionally like involved or whatever and then somebody pointed out like the same shit’s been happening in afghanistan for 20 years and i’m like oh like i realized my own bias well for us too our media is a big part of that you know what we hear and what’s reported because soon as you heard that you were like oh my gosh you know what i mean like there was an awareness there like oh that’s happening somewhere else too that really sucks yeah but it’s like when no one tells you like i don’t know what’s going on in the world i don’t really keep it thanks i’ve been feeling bad about that but yeah wow i only feel bad about people who look like me we don’t report it right we probably did when it started but 20 years later it’s like what are we going to keep well it’s like the whole thing with the you know the the basketball player that’s over in yeah you know with the weed and got locked up in russia well there’s thousands of people in [  ] jail here for marijuana right now you know and we don’t give a [  ] about them they stay in jail but this basketball player in russia is a tragedy it’s like what the you know stupid but aren’t there prisons like way worse i mean well i guess

yeah i mean and to me like she was even more stupid because if i’m going to a foreign country i’m really being careful about what the [  ] i’m trying to do i mean we know they don’t have the same rights as us like what the why would you yeah take that risk but hey i don’t know that she deserves to be in jail but then again neither do that i went to jail for a year for possession of marijuana so and now you can go buy it at the [  ] store

right um so for the news story do we have the same amount of empathy yes yes okay i would say yes do you believe in strong international alliances between your country and others yes that’s how peace is preserved and the weak protected no we should colonize the week no free trade is bad because someone on tv said so and yes that’s how our country can be strong what’s the first one again yes that’s how peace is preserved and the weak are protected i don’t like any of these answers so how about do yes or no do you believe in strong international alliances yes or no yeah only because they’re not offering like one world government

okay do you do anything to ensure your clothing is sweatshop labor free no not a [ __ ] thing i don’t either um i didn’t know how to look for that do you do anything to ensure your food the food you eat is cruelty free no but i do when there’s a local like we get our meat from the local farm store like i i try to do that like i buy my meat locally now and everything from a local farm one of the answers is i prefer it cruel it tastes better uh one of the answers is i check i check for a couple labels from groups i trust um that’s what i do too i buy cruelty free like hygiene products because you know like shampoo and soap and stuff because but my family eats meat i don’t but what if the bunnies wanted shampooing in their eyes i don’t look at everything but how about you billy cruelty tastes better

i don’t know i don’t eat i eat cruelty food i don’t pay attention okay uh do you volunteer yes we all volunteer we’re doing it right now yeah how often do you do something nice for someone else just because daily or a couple times a month or early in dating i do it all the time definitely do it early i’m going to say every day yeah every day do something nice for someone else every day be honest how good a person are you i’m okay or i’m great or i don’t know or i don’t care how good a person are you um i’m between the i’m okay and i’m great yeah i’m kind of there too there’s a part of it it’s like i don’t care but not for the reason that that probably means right just like i’m just trying to live and be the best person that i can so i don’t yeah i don’t care to put it like a evaluate it for the sense of like everyone else to evaluate it but it’s just like i feel good about so yeah i would agree with that okay do you sometimes help people because then they will owe you no no that’s wrong have you ever not come through for a friend because you just weren’t in the mood yes

have you ever heard something really sad and just started laughing uncontrollably yeah no you’ve never watched america’s funniest home videos yeah ball shots always funny oh yeah nailed in the balls that’s terrible but it’s hilarious okay yes for sure which is a higher val which is a higher virtue generosity or kindness uh you can do kindness or generosity both are the same or both are for suckers i’d say both are the same yeah yeah i’m both of the same that was the last question you got saint you feel for everyone when they are hurting you feel for your friends you feel for your friends families you feel for your friends family’s friends your heart bleeds whenever you clap eyes on a sad puppy or even a sad raccoon your compassion knows no bounds i feel sad for my friends family’s friends families let’s keep going now uh cool do you guys learn anything i don’t i feel like i believe in compassion i was already an expert on compassion before i got here no i’m just kidding i wasn’t an expert but i definitely am researching for this felt terrible about the person that i was like i need [  ] way more compassion in our society is [  ] that’s how i felt

i think thinking about this episode i need more not one-to-one compassion because i feel like i got plenty of that i need just more compassion like out into the world in general like just to like i need to stop othering different types of people and just have more compassion for large groups of people instead of okay there i’ve lacked self-compassion i’m not very self-compassionate at all interestingly even though i teach self-compassion i do notice that i struggle there as well yeah i mean i am hard on myself well the buddha said looking after oneself one looks after others and looking after others one looks after oneself perfect place to end be well till next week

did you like this episode share it with people you think might get something out of it check out the rest of our episodes at recoveryswordup.com also while you’re there you can find ways to link up with us on facebook twitter instagram reddit youtube anything we’re always looking for new ideas got an idea you want us to look into reach out to us