This piece pays tribute to people who have pushed forward through pain and suffering again and again, and in the process have become genuine and compassionate. These words are bandied about a lot, but I find they are rare. Genuine is being true to who you are (which means you have to find who you are and face yourself), and that doesn't mean doing whatever you like to whomever you like. It means respecting who you are and extending that respect to others. Compassion -- ah, how difficult that is...because you have to stop comparing or seeing through your own narrow optic, but extend that vision to see others in their own context, not yours.
I had a conversation with a close friend of mine about this subject, how there are people who say they are this or that and yet behave in the opposite way ........ and she pointed out that many people embrace these ideas intellectually but not in their heart or practice because it's too difficult.
I think about these things because I need to know the world I'm living in, and I need to be genuine, to be true to myself. The alternative is feeling hollow, never satisfied, always wanting from outside of myself. And that is not an option for me. Whenever I feel despair or disappointment coming on, I remember that I have not come this far to jump off a cliff!
Be well, be happy, be safe.