why do we need to show compassion

Compassion is in my opinion, one of the single most important qualities we can possess as human beings. It is defined as sympathetic consciousness of others distress together with a desire to alleviate it {The Merriam-Webster Dictionary}. It has also been defined as "sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. " Other similar qualities are: empathy, fellow feeling, mercy,
leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanity, sensitivity, charity, care, concern, and solicitude. Those who demonstrate the most compassion, are those who have the ability to imagine themselves in another persons circumstances or predicament. They are the people who have perhaps never personally experienced something that another human being or animal is experiencing, yet are able to put themselves in that person or animals place and imagine what it must feel like. Animals are themselves very compassionate creatures, and human beings can learn so much from them. Take for example the Capuchin monkey. They will help a fellow Capuchin even when they don t have to. They also demonstrate a strong sense of fairness and are outraged when they feel there is an injustice taking place.


These and other cases of animals showing compassion were studied by renowned Primatologist Frans de Waal. Compassion is not something that is only appropriate if shown to others, it is necessary that we show compassion towards ourselves too. I am sure we have all heard the saying They are as hard on themselves as they are on others. While this may be expressed as if it is a good thing, I personally don t think it is in all cases. If we are able to be compassionate towards ourselves, then it is easier to extend it to others. If we can only relate to others based on our own personal feelings, thoughts, opinions, and circumstances, how compassionate are we really being? We must remember, compassion is the ability to walk a mile in another persons shoes, not our own. Let s start at home first. Sometimes, we go out of our way to be understanding, kind and compassionate to strangers and acquaintances. Yet are we as quick to do this with the people who are closest to us? I absolutely love one of the sayings that Dr. Maya Angelou known for.


She said: If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning Good morning at total strangers. Working on this one! One way that we can show more compassion for others is simply being willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Just as we wouldn t like someone attributing evil motives to us, we wouldn t want to do be overly suspicious of others. While it s true that there are rare times when someone really does have bad intentions, in the majority of cases this isn t so. Even in court, we are Innocent until proven guilty! Being less judgmental is another way we can be more compassionate. At the end of the day, we have no idea what someone else may be dealing with. They may have just lost a loved one, been laid off of their job, been diagnosed with a life-changing illness, etc. Since we really have no idea what people are trying to cope with, we should try and be mindful of these possibilities. We could try and think of what we might need from others if we were dealing with those same kinds of situations. At the same time, realizing that everyone is affected differently by these things, and everyone reacts differently.


So, those are just a few reasons why I feel that compassion is so important. And just a few ways that we can live life more compassionately. More than a word describing the general spirit of love, compassion can be a hands-on philosophy one with plenty of good reasons to live it fully each day: Impermanence Kindness lasts in a world made of things that do not. Showing care, empathy, and love the invisible elements that make life worth living are ways to make certain that our spirit remains present long after our journey has passed. Understanding Compassion isnt necessarily easy work. Forgiveness and acceptance can be challenging, forcing us to swallow our pride now and again. But ultimately, putting ourselves into someone elses place helps us better understand one another and the nature of our interconnected lives. Wisdom ] Love makes our lives far richer than any material gain or social status. In an environment that values fast data and hardline results, it might sometimes seem that patience and benevolence are outdated models but when all else inevitably fades away, compassion remains firm.


Openness In compassion, we are freed to let our guard completely down. When acting in self-interest, we must wear masks to protect our desires and fears. But when acting in something greater than self-interest, our true peaceful nature is revealed. Inspiration Time after time we see how one small action can reverberate throughout a family, a town, a society showing that goodness is a flame that never dies when it is passed from one person to another. Goodness only inspires more goodness. Healing Sometimes in life we need medicine, nutrition, and physical recovery. And sometimes our hearts and spirits require similarly beneficial treatments of care and love we are each others doctors and nurses in the realms of spiritual health. Strength Compassion makes us move beyond ourselves. It is one of the great ironies of life that what we wont or cannot do for ourselves, we are able to do for others showing that universal concern for mankind is always more powerful than self-driven interest and personal gains.

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