Numerous international philosophers, biologists, and scientific experts, along with many spiritual writers, predicted that a global shift in consciousness would occur in 2012. A common theme in these changes involved the end of “individual consciousness” and a shift toward “group consciousness.” Marie D. Jones, in her book 2013: The End of Days or a New Beginning, defined individual consciousness as belonging to ego-driven awareness exhibited by those concerned only with their own individual place in the scheme of things. Group consciousness she defines as an awareness that is motivated by the good of all people, with positive intention at the forefront of action and change. It is the intention behind the Foundation to bring support and compassion to all who are involved in a tragedy.
Compassion involves seeing ourselves in the shoes of another who is suffering and practicing what the Bible refers to as the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you (or your own family). From the Eastern philosophy, Buddhist Nun, Pema Chodrin, says the same thing with different words. She reminds us that true compassion does not come from us wanting to help those less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings.
Disasters such as Malaysia 370 allow us to personally practice compassion. While no doubt all feel for the suffering of the families of the 239 passengers and crew, to truly practice compassion means that we feel equally for the suffering of the employees and airline leadership as well as the Malaysian government officials.
Within 24 hours after the news of the missing airliner broke, criticism of many areas of the response began—causing additional separation and suffering, particularly for those who were trying to manage an unprecedented tragedy. Criticism, where others expressed how they would have responded, is an example of “ego consciousness” which simply further divides groups and adds to the pain and confusion. Criticism and judgment of others’ responses, with so little information, is the antithesis of compassion as it heaps feelings of shame on employees and leaders who are doing their best.
Practicing compassion does not mean that we can’t compare how we might improve future responses based on what we learn—but a larger dose of empathy and compassion would go a long way in supporting those who have dealt with something that hopefully others will never have to.