Something I talk about a lot is the importance of compassion, and how we should all be nicer to people and bring more joy to the world and stuff.
I’ve realised, though, that this can be really unhelpful advice on its own. In isolation, suggesting that people “be more compassionate” has a lot in common with demanding “hey, get taller”. It commends the tendency in people already disposed that way, but doesn’t offer much in the way of a path of self-development.
You have to work actually surprisingly hard to be nicer to people than you’re just naturally inclined to anyway. But it’s the kind of effort you’ll need to make if you really want to change anything, or make the world better, or for anything I say about the importance of compassion to be more than empty platitudes.
I’ve generally been urging everyone to be more like this, but really all I’m doing is repeatedly emphasising the importance of doing more of this. The actual practical question of how to be more like this gets a lot less attention.
I don’t suddenly have any answers now, but I’m going to try and bear it in mind for next time I’m on one of my rants about how tight it would be if everyone was chill to each other.