And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.”
If I have to be reborn I should wish to be born as an ‘untouchable’, so that I may share their sorrows, sufferings and the affronts leveled at them, in order that I may free myself and them from that miserable condition.
Mohandas K. Gandhi (Hinduism)
It is not always physical bravery that counts. One must have the courage to face life as it is, to go through sorrows and always sacrifice oneself for the sake of others.
Kipsigis Saying (African Traditional Religions)
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves; let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to edify him. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached thee fell on me.”
Those who are morally well adjusted look after those who are not; those who are talented look after those who are not. That is why people are glad to have good fathers and elder brothers. If those who are morally well adjusted and talented abandon those who are not, then scarcely an inch will separate the good from the depraved.
Mencius IV.B.7 (Confucianism)
A bodhisattva resolves, “I take upon myself the burden of all suffering; I am resolved to do so; I will endure it. I do not turn or run away, do not tremble, am not terrified, nor afraid, do not turn back or despond.
“And why? At all costs I must bear the burdens of all beings. In that, I do not follow my own inclinations. I have made the vow to save all beings. All beings I must set free. The whole world of living beings I must rescue from the terrors of birth, of old age, of sickness, of death and rebirth, of all kinds of moral offense, of all states of woe… My endeavors do not merely aim at my own deliverance. For with the help of the boat of the thought of all-knowledge, I must rescue all these beings from the stream of Samsara, which is so difficult to cross… I myself must grapple with the whole mass of suffering of all beings. To the limit of my endurance I will experience in all the states of woe, found in any world system, all the abodes of suffering…
“And why? Because it is surely better that I alone should be in pain than that all these beings should fall into the states of woe. Therefore I must give myself away as a pawn through which the whole world is redeemed from the terrors of hells, of animal birth, of the world of Death, and with this my own body I must experience, for the sake of all beings, the whole mass of painful feelings. And on behalf of all beings I give surety for all beings, and in doing so I speak truthfully, am trustworthy, do not go back on my word. I must not abandon all beings.”
Sikshasamuccaya 280-81, Vajradhvaja Sutra (Buddhism)
“I should be a hostel for all sentient beings, to let them escape from all painful things. I should be a protector for all sentient beings, to let them all be liberated from all afflictions. I should be a refuge for all sentient beings, to free them from all fears…
“I should accept all sufferings for the sake of sentient beings, and enable them to escape from the abyss of immeasurable woes of birth and death. I should accept all suffering for the sake of all sentient beings in all worlds, in all states of misery, forever and ever, and still always cultivate foundations of goodness for the sake of all beings. Why? I would rather take all this suffering on myself than to allow sentient beings to fall into hell. I should be a hostage to those perilous places—hells, animal realms, the nether world—as a ransom to rescue all sentient beings in states of woe and enable them to gain liberation. “I vow to protect all sentient beings and never abandon them. What I say is sincerely true, without falsehood. Why? Because I have set my mind on enlightenment in order to liberate all sentient beings; I do not seek the unexcelled Way for my own sake.”
Garland Sutra 23 (Buddhism)