Compassion is reaching out in love to someone, acknowledging their need, their pain and caring as if it were your own. We all have the ability to show compassion but we can choose not to for a multitude of reasons. When we lose compassion for others it means we have travelled down a path of selfishness and self seeking. Of course our first concern will be us, we are only human and our needs will always be a priority. However, if you only ever focus on yourself, your wants, your needs, your pain and struggles there is no room to accommodate others.
Compassion is coming alongside others and caring about the pain they are enduring. Whilst you may not have the ability to know exactly how a person feels you can try. I once read an article where a writer stated it is impossible to empathise if you yourself have not been through a similar situation as another. If one has lost a child they will have the ability to understand how another feels when they lose a child. The pain, the heartache, the loss, the anger and resentment. Do you believe this to be true?
Love allows us to care and to reach out. It pushes us to go the extra mile even when we are tired, hungry and irritated. Showing compassion will take something from us; our time, our listening ear, our money, our skills. Just being there for someone when they need you is enough. You may not know what to say or what to do but simply ‘showing up’ sends a message that you care.
The world we live in today can be lonely for some. People ask how you are but do they truly want to know or are they hoping you say you are fine so they can smile and move on swiftly? We must be sincere in our caring. If we ask how people are we must be prepared to actively listen to them when they respond and help in any way we can.
Often we allow our personal circumstances to consume us and we are blinded to what others are going through. We see them but not their pain, we hear them but do not quite capture what they are saying.
An old saying comes to mind:
“If not me then who?”
“If not you then who?”
How do you show compassion?
How has compassion been shown to you?