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Intelligent Compassion Means Don’t Take Abuse

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Before I talk about love and compassion I would like to say one thing. Under the excuse of love and compassion, do not put yourself as the subject of abuse by anyone. To take abuse in the name of compassion is not right, but you cannot give up on the abuser either. You cannot say, “I cannot help that person. I don’t care.” You have to care and help, but with establishing your own needs first. If you make yourself the subject of abuse and then think you are helping, that is not right. Not only are you not helping that person, but you are damaging them. You are also hurting yourself. That is not compassion. That is stupidity. Compassion is not stupid. It is intelligent. It knows what is good and what is bad for that person and for you. Buddha’s compassion tells us, “Lead everyone to total enlightenment. Lead everyone to the state of Buddhahood.” That is compassion.

It is also very important to just be able to say no. You have to know when to say no and when to say yes. That’s intelligence. That is the basis of compassion, actually. With the excuse of compassion, you cannot bring a thief and murderer into your home. The thief and murderer will not have compassion for you. They will kill you and steal from you. To let them in is an act of stupidity. Compassion will lead you to getting away from the murderer and thief, away from getting hurt. Encouraging abuse is not compassion. Abusing is a disease that an individual gets. If you don’t stop the abuse they will not only abuse one person, but two, three, four and then always. You have to stop that. If you have compassion you have to stop that. Many people may need to hear that.

--from Sundays with Gelek Rimpoche