Compassion is the understanding or empathy for another person. It is also defined as sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
What is interesting is that the more people that need help the less one person feels able to help. Research supports that a person wants to help but may believe there is no way to help all the folks that need help so they end up doing nothing. There also is research that supports the “group think” – that if others around you do nothing than you may believe the situation does not call for action or the person needing help is less deserving. Wow! At that point people may have too much suppression of empathy such that is leads to apathy!
Every one of us needs to be open to the presence of compassion – to just allow the emotion to be present. It is a quick process and merely takes a few seconds. Do NOT analyze it, just sit with it. Compassion for self and others depends on this action.
What do you see above? There is no “right” answer. Look closely! Be honest with yourself. Did you see Hope is No Where first or did you see Hope is Now Here first? Compassion can see both and may react to both. We will often rest in uncertainty and must work toward an awareness of our awareness as well as paying attention to our intention. Basically we are saying to stay in the moment (awareness of awareness) and consider your plan of action (paying attention to intention).
Nothing presented here speaks to the ACTION of a person. That is another issue entirely. Behaviors may appear differently if you are a pessimist versus an optimist. Consider this: Pessimists often view the world as permanent, pervasive and personal while optimists often view the world as temporary, specific and external. Considering those differences we can extrapolate that there may be differences in behaviors. Regardless of your orientation please acknowledge the emotion of compassion and at least consider a helpful action – be it to self or others. Let’s make the world a nicer place for all of us to be!
“Wherever you are that is the entry point.” – Kabir 15th Century Indian Poet