One of the most beautiful and valuable emotional traits we can share with the world, is compassion. True compassion is not only being kind, but is also having understanding, empathy, patience and a willingness to actually do something for someone.
Throughout life, we almost always know people who are in need of some compassion — sometimes, desperately. The common dictionary definition of compassion is this: “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.” In reality however, being compassionate is much more that just having sympathy or pity.
Being truly compassionate is an active emotional trait; its not only feeling for someone, but is also doing something. It means having a deep enough compassion for a person’s plight or stress to do more than just tell them we care — it means we try to relate to their situation and we reach out to them to try and alleviate what ever negatives we’re able to help with. Helping someone can mean just listening to them and having understanding, or, it can mean giving them assistance or a helping hand.
The Power of Compassion
Some say love and compassion can change the world and I happen to be one of those people. We have a lot of people who show compassion only when its convenient for them. These are the people who often say they care and repeat that many times, but when it comes to actually doing something or “being there” for that person, they pull back…after all, they have “lives of their own.” “I have a life of my own” is typically the statement that often precipitates their withdrawal from actually putting their words into action. In essence, this type of compassion is not helpful, because its care and compassion in name only. But then, sometimes, that special person comes along who says they “care” and, they truly do, because they then go into action to help another person. It is this genuine type of compassionate person who truly has the power to help heal this broken world, because their true, deep form of compassion, has love backing it up.
A meme of sorts that has been shared on social media exemplifies what true compassion means. I don’t know who wrote it, but its a great way to explain sincere compassion:
How wonderful this is! Its so simple, yet so profound — we don’t cast them aside or toss them away just because their “batteries” are weak or even non-functioning, but instead, we help them re-charge those batteries. Wanting to help and then actively helping is compassion and love in action: its attention, affection, acceptance, caring, direction — its actually doing something other than just saying “I care.”
“Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity, your mind for truth, and your heart for love.” – Anonymous
Can One Person Really Change the World?
This is an age old question and the answer is yes…absolutely! One person can change the world because maybe that person you help will one day write something or make something that will bring significant deep healing to our world. Maybe those words of kindness and that understanding will make all the difference to someone and they will feel revitalized and healed and they will go on to then do the same for someone else. Love and compassion are powers that regenerate and reverberate — they radiate out, heal and brighten. We should never forget that a little love and compassion can go a very long way! So whose batteries will you re-charge today?
Learn more about being a compassionate person:
Would you describe yourself as a compassionate person?
Even if you don’t necessarily see yourself that way, I bet you’re compassionate at least some of the time (e.g., when you’re well-rested and not in a hurry), or with certain people in your life (e.g., with your closest friends). Compassion can be thought of as a mental state or an orientation towards suffering (your own or others’) that includes four components:
- Bringing attention or awareness to recognizing that there is suffering (cognitive)
- Feeling emotionally moved by that suffering (affective)
- Wishing there to be relief from that suffering (intentional)
- A readiness to take action to relieve that suffering (motivational) continue reading…
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia