What Is a Compassionate Lifestyle?

What is a compassionate lifestyle? A compassionate lifestyle is one that embraces gentleness, non-violence, and forgiveness. It is the essence of the Christian life and a core value of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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The Five Principles of Symponia – the Compassionate Lifestyle Project

  1. Compassion towards oneself; forgiving oneself for imperfections, faults, and failings while continually striving towards improvement;
  2. Compassion towards all other human beings, with special love to children, the elderly, and the handicapped;
  3. Compassion towards those who harm us, who do us harm or who wish us harm. This does NOT mean suffering silently or acting “like a doormat” but forgiveness after lawful channels have been pursued.
  4. Compassion towards animals, especially the domestic animals in our care but also towards livestock raised for our needs and to wild animals with whom we share the planet;
  5. Compassion towards the planet and kindness towards the environment; utilizing resources with wise stewardship and awareness that present actions impact future generations.

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What does this look like in action?

We may show our compassionate lifestyle by choosing to eat meat sparingly or not at all; by recycling or taking a minimalist approach to life. We may buy used, recycled, or reconditioned clothing, cars, and furniture. We care for what we are given, and follow the old-fashioned mantra of use it up, wear it out, reuse or recycle.

We participate in harmless hobbies and pastimes that provide us with welcome joy and rest. We take care of ourselves and our well-being and that of our family first, then others. Compassion towards ourselves means we ensure we get adequate rest, sleep, nourishment, embrace challenging work, and nurture healthy relationships.

We do not support actions that do not show love, but neither do we actively attack, in word, thought or deed, others who act against the law of love.

We do not judge, but listen with love; we teach and speak the truth of Christ always but show love to all.  We follow our chosen religion, if we have one, to the best of our abilities, and let God be the judge of our fellow man and the judge of the fruits of our work.

For ourselves, doing God’s will daily, and practicing the “little virtues” of patience, gentleness, humility, sweetness, and liberty of spirit with those we encounter in person and online, at work or at home, is our pathway to happiness.

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