Compassion was the first round of global awakening.
Collective intelligence is emerging as the second round.
Compassion was the key trait of the Axial Age (roughly 900 BC to 300 BC) that brought forth the great world religions and philosophies, and which led to the great principles of Vedanta, Yoga, Taoism, Greek philosophy and democracy, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. (Good reference: The Great Transformation)
Compassion is a crucial seed for collective intelligence and collective consciousness. Compassion is a recognition of the Other – including the other’s needs – and resources.
But true compassion is not feeling sorry that someone else is different.
An important extension of compassion is to realize that differences are natural, good, and are in fact built into the way Nature and Universe works. For those who believe in a divine Creator, differences can be realized to be a key part of the Creator’s plan.
Compassion sets the stage for appreciation. Compassion is most often focused on recognizing suffering of another and wanting to help relieve it. (The Axial Age was an especially brutal time.) Appreciation is a much bigger recognition of the other, by seeing the other’s gifts, and the gift of exchanging gifts: Knowledge, abilities, wealth, ideas.
True compassion brings with it a great deal of humility.
Arrogance is to believe that you have been told by God or by your own brilliance, and in great detail, that which is good and best for all people and all beings, and for all times.
The key here is “in great detail”. At the deepest levels possible, there appear to be true absolutes, true for all people. These truths can be experienced, but are very hard to express in ways that make sense to all others who have not had all your experiences. Thus “Truth” naturally contains a healthy amount of Mystery.
But when you start adding details prescribing particular practices, beliefs, rules, and laws, then that is when humility becomes especially important:
“These are the beliefs and practices that I have found to be most helpful.
“These are the beliefs and practices that my people have found to be most helpful.”