Putting the Passion Back in Compassion

Compassion is sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. Compassion is pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. Compassion is love. Compassion is kindness. Compassion is Mother Theresa. Compassion has been lost in time. Compassion is the “Golden Rule”. What is compassion?

Your car didn’t start this morning, you forgot your homework, and your teacher made you stay after school, so you’re late for work. Your boss notices your distress and brings you tea from Tim Hortons.  You go into the school bathroom, holding back tears again. The constant feeling of loneliness that follows you is daunting. Your reflection in the mirror tells you how pathetic you are. Another girl stands looking in the mirror as well; she looks at you, recognizing your pain, and smiles. You don’t feel so alone anymore. That’s compassion. Your hunger pains are so constant that you barely notice them anymore. The feeling of deteriorating bones, and knowledge that your children are suffering just as much as you are more painful than the hunger and never ending thirst. You are hopeless; each day the idea of just giving up is more and more appealing. One day a group of young people from Canada come to feed the village and care for your children. That’s compassion. Compassion is the desire to help; it is the need to take away pain and suffering of other human beings, no matter how big or small the action is.

I believe in the idea that the energy of compassion never leaves. Compassion is an infinite force that can be cause and effect, sending a positive feeling that dances among society. One smile, a simple thank you for your time, or holding the door open for others, can start this. Just by making a person’s day, they may go on to do the same for someone else, similar to the theory of “Paying it Forward”. Unfortunately, in our world, lives have become so busy and full of multi-tasking that simple kind gestures are often forgotten.  If we stop letting a person go ahead in a grocery line, or giving up a spot on a bus, will our children do the same? Maybe by that time compassion will be consigned to oblivion. I really hope not, and I plan to do whatever I can to continue showing compassion to those around me. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.