As we enter the holiday season, we need to focus intently on having compassion for our families, our communities, and ourselves. In our busy-ness and commercials that are intended to make us wish for what we don’t have, this is the best time to keep our minds set on our center of compassion.
I believe compassion is what makes the world go round. You can’t love someone without compassion for their faults and flaws. You can’t truly help someone without compassion for the way they’ve responded to their circumstances. You can’t resolve differences without compassion for the other’s worldview.
Wikipedia has this to say about compassion:
Compassion (from Latin: “co-suffering”) is a virtue —one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy (for the suffering of others) are regarded as a cornerstone of greater social interconnectedness and humanism —equivalent to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another’s suffering.
The English noun compassion, meaning to suffer together with, comes from the Latin. Its prefix com- comes directly from com, an archaic version of the Latin preposition and affix cum (= with); the -passion segment is derived from passus, past participle of the deponent verb patior, patī, passus sum. Compassion is thus related in origin, form and meaning to the English noun patient (= one who suffers), from patiens, present participle of the same patior, and is akin to the Greek verb πάσχειν (= paskhein, to suffer) and to its cognate noun πάθος (= pathos).
Are you willing “to suffer together with” the people in your life? With people you haven’t met yet? With yourself? The Dalai Lama says that having compassion not only benefits others, but helps your mental state as well. Something to think about….