How do I develop compassion?
Simply be compassionate. Commit acts of caring. Don’t be lazy or timid and take the easy way out by ignoring those in need around us. How do I develop compassion? By taking action.Does being compassionate alone make one a compassionate person? Does it need a kind act once a week, or once a day or once an hour? It is not easily defined, yet we see someone and we are quick to label them. So how do I develop a trait that we all recognize but have trouble defining? I say don’t worry about the definition so much and simply take action.
Why do I even care?
Why do we even care? A great article on Seeds of Compassion gives you some answers. Also an unscientific internet poll of 176 people, ranked a group of character traits in order of importance. The top three in order are trustworthiness, compassion and loyalty. Countless blogs, websites and organizations write about and promote compassion everyday. We have the #1000Speak group that started on Twitter and is growing. Sites like Zen Habits often write about compassion. To quote from Paul Gilbert’s article on The Greater Good,
“We need compassion because life is hard.” – Paul Gilbert
How do I develop compassion? By making a conscious effort every single day to better than you were the day before. By taking action and doing a kind and caring thing for someone that can never repay you. Don’t ask what you can get out of situation. Instead, ask what you can give. If you have an hour or so, check out the following video from the Dalai Lama
Where’s the handbook?
There is no single book or class that will teach you to be a good, caring person of character. It takes hard work, perseverance and action. Every. Single. Day. You are either moving forward or sliding backwards. You may think you are standing still and maintaining the “status quo” but you are really moving the wrong direction. There are many religious books that have good thoughts in them and studying them is useful if you are so inclined. Having the knowledge in those books is a good thing, but knowledge is no substitute for action. An act of compassion touches much more that the person you act toward. It makes you a more compassionate person, It moves those that see your generous action. How do I develop compassion? The same way you develop any other character trait, action, daily practice and hard work.
Leave your thoughts and questions on developing compassion in the comments below. Please use the social media links to share with your friends.