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The Compassionate Life by Marc Ian Barasch

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CONCLUSION

And the day came when the risk it took to remain closed in abud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

—Anaïs Nin

HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE: IS THERE SOMEPLACE COMPASsion is contraindicated? It’s good for body, mind, and spirit; good for loved ones and total strangers; good for creatures great and small (I draw the line at spiders, but I’ve joined Arachnophobes Anonymous).

I do know for a plausible fact that people change for the better—and incrementally change others. I know that compassion is a grace of sorts: It inheres in the nature of things, but it’s brought forth by a certain exertion, as butter emerges from cream by the labor of the churn.

So I labor, little by little. I’ve started volunteering at a home for mentally ...

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