The Power Of Compassion
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing, and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there –Rumi
One of the first things I do every morning is read the news. I believe that is the same for most people. We want to know what is happening in the world and in our communities. We want to know how yesterday’s developments will be impacting our lives today. But as we read about all the wars, poverty, and instability we feel overwhelmed and start to shut down. Unfortunately, the shutting down to the pain in the news carries on to our daily lives; we start to become disconnected from our ability to feel compassion and to empathize. But, the news is not the only reason. Our own life’s difficulties and struggles take care of whatever compassion we have left in our hearts.
The human experience is based on exchange and connectedness. How many times we have a good experience and wonder how much better it would have been if shared with a loved one?
Having compassion, which is the ability to understand the emotional state of another person and then want to alleviate their suffering, makes us feel connected and part of a large group. It gives us purpose and it ground us. Without compassion we feel alone.
Our world is competitive and success and disaster is what is most often highlighted. Because of that we start to have the misconception that having compassion for others is either a waste of time or a sign of weakness. Or we see compassion as something only the rich and powerful have the time or the means to do. Compassion becomes something for the ranks of Bono or George Clooney.
How wrong is that? Compassion is simple, profound and exists in every one of us. Compassion connects us to our own humanity and that of others. Compassion can be expressed in a smile or a hug. Compassion is letting someone else feel understood when they are conflicted. Compassion is loving someone when they are deeply distressed.
Every day we have an opportunity to change someone’s life by paying attention to their needs. Every day someone else has the opportunity to change our lives. It can be a simple act or gesture which carries the power to connect and transform.
Tap into your compassion for yourself and others. It will transform you.