Best-selling author, religious expert and TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong has studied all of the world's great religions. She says she's identified the common thread that runs through them all: compassion. In the above clip from her upcoming appearance on "Super Soul Sunday," Armstrong sits down with Oprah and shares the one thing everyone can start doing today to live a more compassionate life.
"Take a little practice," Armstrong says. "You can do it all day and every day. When you're in the office, or at home, or going to work on the commuter train, look at the person sitting next to you and say, 'What do I know about this person? What do I really know about this person?' I may see them every day, but do I know what makes her cry in the night? What do I know about the girl who's checking me out in the supermarket? And sometimes I'm impatient [and think], 'This woman's stupid, she's so slow.' What do I really know about that woman? Her home circumstances, her suffering? Just get in that habit."
Oprah says that's why our culture's penchant to use gossip blogs and magazines to sum up a person's life in a single incident is flawed.
"It's very flawed," Armstrong says. "Behind each person lies a whole history of associations, of joy, of happiness, of events that we'll never know."