“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”—Albert Einstein
As we move through life conditioned by parents, teachers, authority figures, and culture, our compassion is squelched, fragmented, and compartmentalized. We’re taught to hear but not listen; speak but not act; think but not feel. We’re taught to conform, consume, comply. We label, we fear, we judge…we separate. But the seed of compassion resides permanently in our hearts as a reminder that we are all connected. Compassion is the greatest expression of love.
The human heart has the capacity to hold an enormous amount of love and compassion. By our very nature, we are compassionate. Anything less that that is the lie we’ve bought into to separate us from life. The reason we do what we do to those we perceive as other is because we’re asleep at the wheel.
But we are not separate. We’re autonomous expressions of a greater whole in an interconnected world. We have the choice to live the lie or not. We’re the ones who created it. We’re the ones who can un-create it. Just as we’ve chosen ignorance, so too can we choose truth. The most important thing that we can do in our lifetime is to dare to care about the sacredness of life for all living beings. By realigning with what was conditioned out of us since birth, we reconnect with our core essence of compassion. Radical compassion.
What is radical compassion? Radical means, “at the root of”. Compassion means, “to feel with”. Radical compassion is the deepest core of our capacity to feel with others. It is the essence of who we are – our non-separate soul; the purest fabric of love within. Radical compassion lives in the heart of each and every one of us. For many, it’s a dormant seed. For the change makers in today’s world, it’s a tree in blossom. Nobody is exempt from radical compassion however.
Gene Baur is a man who exemplifies radical compassion. He’s a compelling reminder of who we all can be should we choose to live from the depths of compassion in our hearts.
Gene is the president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary. He’s also a best-selling author, activist, environmentalist, humanitarian, and a talented runner and Ironman triathlete to boot.
If you haven’t yet listened to my conversation with Gene in episode #8, it’s definitely worth checking out. Since that first conversation, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Sunshine Coast VegFest with Gene this past summer. We also had the opportunity to share dinner, walks along the beach, and a beautiful afternoon paddle/picnic in the Sechelt inlet with my partner among the jumping salmon, playful harbor seals, and the stunning mountain views in this beautiful part of the world. I can shamelessly say that Gene is a beautiful man who truly makes compassion cool!
Earlier this year, Gene released his newest book, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day. It’s a powerful guide for compassionate living. It’s part recipe book, part story book, part lifestyle guide, and it’s also filled with tips and tools to ensure that compassion is not only cool, it’s easy.
Gene is a man on a mission; a mission of compassion and love. He’s a man who is deeply connected to his calling. As a result, he’s had a tremendous impact on the lives of human and non-human animals alike.
In this week’s conversation, we explore:
• The grassroots shift of consciousness.
• Living well (the Farm Sanctuary way).
• Food is our most intimate connection to the earth.
• Exploring the roots of change.
• The myth of “feel good labels” such as “free-range” and “grass-fed”.
• How the label, “natural” is often anything but.
• How the words, “humane” and “slaughter” don’t fit.
• How our culture tends to normalize the abnormal.
• How our misaligned values rationalize what we intuitively know is wrong.
• Changing the face of activism.
• How vegan is a lifestyle transformation that weaves us back in to the web of life.
• Creating mutually beneficial relationships that support compassion.
• The 5 tenets of Farm Sanctuary Living.
• Making caring cool!
In a culture that teaches love and radical compassion out of us, it takes courage to care in a uncaring world. This is why the most powerful expression of radical compassion is daring to care in an uncaring world.
We all know that we can be better. We all know that we can live more, give more, be more, and love more. So why wouldn’t we? Gene Baur shows us how easy it can be!
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