What is true compassion?
Here is a quote I came across this morning:
"What is compassion? It is not simply a sense of sympathy or caring for the person suffering, not simply a warmth of heart toward the person before you, or a sharp clarity of recognition of their needs and pain, it is also a sustained and practical determination to do whatever is possible and necessary to help alleviate their suffering."
I didn’t post it on Facebook or on the quotes page as I have come to realize some time ago how we do tend to respond to someone else’s suffering.
First of all: do we always truly know what their needs are? What is it that they really need in the first place?
Second: do they really need us to intervene at this point? Are they at this point ready to be released from their suffering? Or are we acting to stop our suffering that is the result of seeing them suffer?
So, who do we truly help here? I believe at the end no one if we do not really understand what is happening.
Are they ready to take the next step in their lives? Did they learn what they have to learn from what is happening to them? Or are we trying to bail them out even before they have realized what is causing their suffering?
I believe that we would help them and us the most by first assessing why WE are suffering from what is happening to THEM and after that assessing whether they are aware of what is causing their suffering. Only after that we will be able to know how to act.
Does this ring a bell?
What do you believe?
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