365 Ways To Wellbeing – 351st Way
“If one is cruel to himself, how can we expect him to be compassionate with others?”
What is compassion? What kind of people compassionate people are?
I think compassion is acknowledging the suffering, identifying oneself with it and acting to make it go away. Compassion is not just feeling sorry for people who suffer, but seing the causes behing suffering. It’s understanding the interdepence behind the events that leads to suffering. It is about seeing how we are alike. How everybody faces the same hardships in life.
Compassion is feeling empathy and sympathy. But that’s not all. Compassion as an emotion isn’t helping if it doesn’t include acting. Making something about issues that are causing suffering is vital part of compassion.
Why develop compassion?
There are countless of studies that show how compassion improves wellbeing of a human being. Compassion comforts you and makes you more open, more open hearted, towards life. It’s kind of a pumped up self-esteem. Self-esteem without the fear of being judged. Without a must of proving yourself worthy to others. It’s about seeing the sameness of mankind. How we are all alike. How we all suffer and survive.
At best, compassion can lead to a feeling of being connected to others, being a part of the whole. Understanding how hardships belong to everybody. And understanding that by feeling compassion and turning that feeling into action we can make this world a better place to be.
This post is inspired by Kristin Neff´s book Self-Compassion. It´s a great book about compassion! My husband read it earlier this autumn and I just finished it. After Matthieu Ricard´s book Happiness this is the second book that has started to change our personal and family life, wellbeing and the whole way of thinking. I warmly recommend!
Read more about my “Wellbeing Challenge 2013 – 365 Ways To Wellbeing”.