Compassion is the capacity to empathize with others, show kindness, and extend support without expecting personal gain. Ego, the sense of self-importance and attachment to self-identity, often stands as a hindrance to compassion.
When our ego is dominant, we cannot step outside our self-focused bubble. When our ego is too big, it makes us think mostly about ourselves, and we don't pay much attention to what others are going through. Here is how ego builds a wall between us and the others:
Ego makes us quick to judge and think we're better than others. We might look down on people we see as not as good as us. Instead of understanding others, their situation, or personality, we give a final verdict, "That person is wrong," never to change it.
We expect something in return for being kind, like recognition or rewards. It tricks us into thinking that helping others might take something away from us. This makes us less likely to be compassionate.
To develop compassion we must recognize our own weaknesses so we can put ourselves in others' shoes before making judgments. However, ego makes us defensive because of our strong attachment to our self-identity. We cannot acknowledge our own limitations making it even harder to sympathize with others. We need to understand that no one is truly bad and we all have our faults, it can help us be more compassionate.
If not defensive we go to the other extreme end. We accept our weaknesses then we become insecure. We stress about our own problems and don't notice or help with other people's troubles. We try to keep ourselves first. It's like a wall that keeps us from reaching out to others.
When we're less focused on our ego and more aware of our own mistakes and challenges, it's easier to relate to others and be caring. It reminds us that we're all in this together, trying to learn and grow. So, by letting go of our self-centeredness, we can create a kinder and compassionate world.