Radical compassion means nothing and nobody is excluded from the circle of kindness. The best evidence shows its good for us individually and as a society, but it can be difficult for us to trust given US mainstream cultural conditioning. Cultivating radical compassion takes courage and persistence, but when collectively practiced, it can become a powerful force for personal and societal transformation.
Even when we are in touch with our intentions and they are good, our compassionate actions can be unskillful. Mindfulness, discernment, balance and equanimity in the face of suffering are also important factors in increasing the likelihood that our helping will be truly helpful.
If we begin to observe ourselves and our reactions to experience, we may notice how impacted we are by our perception of others' approval or validation on the one hand, and their criticism, disapproval or rejection on the other. This can make for quite a rollercoaster ride when we care deeply, but are not fully present to the subtle workings of the mind. Mindfulness can help us have greater equanimity in the face of praise or blame.
There is an unending interplay of complex circumstances behind any given situation and we may never be able to work out completely the confluence of factors that allow certain events to germinate. A mindfulness practice helps us understand and remember this, which in turn allows us to remain open to experience. We see things more clearly and make time for consideration of a skillful response rather than being caught up in strong emotions arising from interpretations and expectations.
True enemies may be easy to spot, but what about "near enemies"? If near enemies were people, we might call them "frenemies". A near enemy is a subtle quality that we may miss or confuse as useful or helpful when, in fact, it can become an obstacle to our mindfulness practice that is hidden from us or in disguise.