You are lazy or weak. In order to show compassion, you must become strong. Not physically, but emotionally. Being mentally strong can help too. But without some level of emotion, you cannot be compassionate.
It’s like exercising your muscles. Don’t go and try to lift 100 pounds on your first attempt. Start small and make incremental increases every week. The same with compassion. Don’t go out and try to save the world. Start small. Do a small act of compassion. Help someone you don’t know. If you don’t feel comfortable acting in person, try supporting an organization like Compassion International.
Ideas for Compassion
Pay attention to the elderly
Not sure where or how to start? Try following some groups or hashtags on twitter like Compassion International or 1000 Speak. Here are some more ideas that might help you exercise your compassionate muscle and become a stronger compassionate person.
Volunteer at a food bank
Visit the elderly or the shut in
Simply be kind to everyone
Volunteer at a soup kitchen
Visit a veteran at the hospital
Feed the homeless
Teach something you know to a child
Sponsor a child
Adopt a pet from a shelter
Call a friend that you haven’t talked to in a while
Allow someone to be compassionate to you
I would love to hear things you do to be compassionate. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Does Compassion Build Character?
Or does having character help you be compassionate? I would say yes to both. A person of good character knows that having and showing compassion is good. Some one that exhibits compassionate behavior strengthens their character. Which comes first? I don’t think it matters. For me, it is the result that is important, not the steps of how we got there.
If we don’t have compassion, we can not have peace. Check out this great article about building a compassionate army by Dr. Elisha Goldstein. We must become able to reach out to people in need and help them. It’s starts now, It starts with you. It starts with one small act.
Please share this thought with your friends on social media and leave your thoughts below in the comments.
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.
“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.
As part of the #1000Speak event on bullying, here are my thoughts:
What do you do if you see an act of bullying? It doesn’t matter who or where, or at least it shouldn’t. What do you do if it’s your child or a neighbor’s child? What if it’s a co-worker? How do you respond? Does your character permit you to turn and walk-away or does it hold you accountable for improving the world around you by speaking out? I would suggest that you don’t need to get violent or confrontational. But a simply worded question might be, “I’m curious, why are you doing this ? Interrupting the bully will divert their attention. Questioning them with conversational tones will hopefully calm and engage them. Paraphrase what you hear them saying so that you understand. I always try to calm and engage them. But what if the person is larger or very aggressive and it’s you they are trying to bully? Interrupt their rant and say something like “Excuse me, I want to discuss this with you, but I have a prior appointment.” and leave. Usually bullies count the people they bully to be polite. They probably don’t know that they do, but if you interrupt them and leave, it will most likely defuse the situation. Do you have the character to stand up to bully? Are you willing to be better and demand better?
What do you do if you see bullying? Leave a thought.
Simply it is the experiences you have had in life AND how you dealt with them. To me it means a moral strength to do what is right even if there is no one around to see. It is helping someone that cannot do anything for you in return. It’s part compassion, part action, part common sense. It’s all the things my grandmother taught me.