As a wordie (like a foodie, but nerdier), I like to have clear definitions of heavily-weighted words like wisdom and compassion. And indeed, these are beautifully strong pillars: wisdom, the discernment that cuts through delusion and ignorance, and compassion, the coming alongside those who suffer (that would be everyone) for the intent of support, aid, care, and even guidance. Those two structures are certainly enabled and sustained through our committed practice of knowing and accepting ourselves. I could even say that it is impossible to be discerning and able to come alongside anyone if not for the determined repetition of meditation that enables mindfully knowing and accepting our own faults, fears, and ignorance. Thus, the three pillars are essential for bodhisattvas* seeking to solicit change in the world.
This picture of the three pillars is one that will be noted in my journal, as it is the very picture of what we are trying to accomplish within ourselves. And, yes, when we transform ourselves, I believe the wisdom and compassion naturally will radiate into our social interactions and maybe, just maybe, we can respectfully and lovingly challenge perspectives and encourage wisdom and compassion in someone else. After all, isn’t that what social change is all about? I, like you, seek to be the change we want to see in the world. I am sure all who are reading this would agree.
*a person who is able to reach nirvana (complete enlightenment/awareness) but delays doing so out of compassion in order to help other suffering beings.