When some people see others in unfortunate situations in their lives, they may act with subconscious feeling of superiority.
A response that appears to come from a sense of compassion or justice may actually be a response that merely feeds the ego.
As one of my teachers once said, it’s like everyone is dying in the hospital, but some patients want to spend the last days of their lives comparing themselves with others to make themselves feel better about their situation.
A person with a particularly unhealthy self-esteem may even reflect on how other patients are suffering more because of all the terrible things they’ve done in their lives in the past.
A wiser perspective could be to understand that we’ll all end up like the person in the bed next to us. It can happen at any moment.
An even wiser approach would be to find ways to make life in the hospital better for others for sake of our well-being and the well-being of all the patients. In doing so, we’re not acting with a sense of superiority but with a sense of genuine care for others and appreciation for the fate that we share.
The other person isn’t a stranger.
They’re a being just like us.
And we can take this perception beyond humans to other beings that exist because we know that they’re suffering too.
When we offer our help and support in this way, there is a real feeling of happiness that can arise.