Generating compassion does not mean actually freeing beings from their suffering; it is wishing that they be free. Of course, if there are things we can do to help, we should do them. Sometimes our efforts will work, sometimes not. The most skilled doctor is unable to cure every patient, and the most courageous rescue worker can’t save every life. No matter how strongly we may wish someone to be free from a problem, we may not be able to bring this about. We can only try our best, and then accept whatever the result may be.

From Awakening the Kind Heart: How to Meditate on Compassion by Kathleen McDonald © 2010. Reprinted with permission of Wisdom Publications

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