While cynics may dismiss compassion as touchy-feely or irrational, scientists have started to map the biological basis of compassion, suggesting its deep evolutionary purpose. This research has shown that when we feel compassion, our heart rate slows down, we secrete the “bonding hormone” oxytocin, and regions of the brain linked to empathy, caregiving, and feelings of pleasure light up, which often results in our wanting to approach and care for other people….
Compassion makes us feel good: Compassionate action (e.g., giving to charity) activates pleasure circuits in the brain, and compassion training programs, even very brief ones, strengthen brain circuits for pleasure and reward and lead to lasting increases in self-reported happiness.
My Dearest Shosh and Jaialai:
These days, you hear the term “snowflake” banter about. Apparently, it is the defining insult of 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/nov/28/snowflake-insult-disdain-young-people. It expresses disdain for those who are “fragile” and who “melt” at the first sign of hardship.
For example, much has been made of the “safe space” demanded by college students who has to “suffer” through the experience of hearing ideas and opinions that do not conform with their own. They are fragile. Schools are places where ideas, even those not to our liking, should be freely exchanged and debated. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/oklahoma-university-president-school-not-safe-space-article-1.2450165. Closing ourselves off from differing opinions is part of the problem today of people only getting “news” from agreeable sources. That’s not news. That’s mere confirmation of their biases.
I want you boys to grow up to be real men. Real men are compassionate, courageous (even when they are afraid on the inside), perseverant, humble, and integrous. The following are not necessarily the best representations of what a real man should be, but they give you a general idea.
Be compassionate. Being a real man starts there. The world needs compassionate people, given all the divisive news we hear these days in the U.S. and the world.
All my love, always,
P.S., http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/ is one of my favorite sites. It gives you the science about how living a meaningful and happy life is good for you, and how to live a meaningful and happy.