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Monday, January 3, 2011

cc2011:1 What is Compassion?

and Compassion Challenge 2011 begins ~ 1 Monday down, 51 to go!!

it was likely 6 years ago when “Finding Compassion” happened across my heart, and it is funny to finally be doing something with it.

it would be silly to think in all this time i had never utilized a search engine for the following: “What is Compassion,” but a few days ago i did and was pleasantly surprised by what i found.

Wikipedia states: 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 part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnectedness and humanism —foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood.

Wow!  compassion sounds deep ~ ha!

better still.. i awoke last night at 3 a.m. and for an hour i tried to fall back asleep until finally i could not.  and you know what was on my mind.. Compassion Challenge.  i put literal letters on a large sheet of paper the night before, anticipating a picture (wink!).  and now in the middle of the night i am thinking of Violette’s Journal Bliss (a fun book that inspires me to try new ways of writing). 

i am then thinking i am crazy, what is the closest book to my reach because i’m not going all the way downstairs to retrieve an activity book ~

i switch on my reading light, look down and Lazarus’ Passion and Reason (1996) is staring back.  Awesome i thought, i’ll get a jump on February’s topic, because January is taken care of, or so i thought...  low and behold there is a chapter written specifically on Gratitude, Compassion, and Aesthetic Experiences.  good for me, good for the project!!

it reads, “Unlike empathy, in which we relate to another’s emotion, compassion is a single emotional state, which we ourselves generate and experience.  Although we can feel compassion, because we are capable of identifying and empathizing, feeling compassion is our own state of mind, not merely a copy of the emotion of another person.”

Compassion means to suffer with ~ .  I ask, what allows me to dig in and allow myself to not only discern that another person is struggling, but a willingness to step in and ease the pain.  how is it that i can allow myself to identify my pain and offer it to another??

we are about finding compassion for others – yes, but for ourselves too.  looking back on my life 4 specific qualities have made a tremendous difference in how i see the world.  for the next 4 Monday’s I’ll be offering these qualities by way of honoring 4 individuals who inspire me daily. 

Ask Yourself ~ “Who in my life has guided me by their action, what specific quality comes to mind when thinking of this person.”

oh!!  as always, if you haven’t left your thoughts on Compassion, please do so by responding to the following entry :)


Laura said...

Compassion is hand delivering your boss's meal from the microwave with a glass of water, a napkin and a fork, because tax season is already that busy.

My first mentor is who comes to mind when you ask about someone who has guided me. He set wonderful examples and was a kind man. I worked for him for 7 years. I credit him for my decision to take the business route in life because I watched him do such a wonderful job.

jenni said...

i think it is so cool how much we can impact each others lives :)

i love when i run into someone after a long time & i tell them some positive reason i remember them ... it almost always becomes a little awkward, but then i try to maintain my authentic stance so they can soak it up.. once they do their whole face changes, as if 'that was me?' ~ neat!

we are so precious ~ if our eyes could just be open :)

thanks Laura!!