This is not a rhetorical question, I really would like to know the real meaning of this word, because I guess I still do not have this adorable quality…
I have found some answers but they are not sufficient to me. Please help!
Compassion is a human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another’s suffering. It is often, though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in the social context as altruism. In ethical terms, the various expressions down the ages of the so-called Golden Rule embody by implication the principle of compassion: Do to others what you would have them do to you. The English noun compassion, meaning to suffer together with, comes from the Latin.
Well, if I analyse that explanation, then I admit I am quite an altruist. And I also live according to the rule Do to others what you would have them do to you. Albite, honestly this is not the best rule, because obviously not everyone may like to be treated like myself (straight and direct), it is also not desirable in many cultures. I like another rule better: Do to others what they want you to do to them. But that one is not easy to fulfill, as we cannot always know what type of behaviour a next person prefers. Where I have a difficulty is with the first sentence – I am not sure I want to co-suffer. I certainly not. I do experience pain for others, but this is something else: if somebody’s heart is in pain (physically or emotionally) my own will also hurt, however this happens automatically, my body just works this way. Even if in this way I take aways some pain, still I would not call it compassion because it is not done consciously.
Another explanation from my previous post : “The compassionate heart forgives instantly”, if it is so, then I must be called a compassionate person because forgiving has always been the easiest thing for me.
If I see the pain of others my first intention is to help, however I can. And mostly I know how. I will not co-suffer though, will not cry or moan. I just help however I can.
And yet… I can’t call myself a compassionate person. I just can’t explain why, but this is what I feel. Something is missing…
I wonder how do YOU see compassion? And if you consider yourself a compassionate person, then how is it being expressed in your life?
Thank you very much indeed,
(image by me)