Compassion

“We may shine, we may shatter,

We may be picking up the pieces here on after,

We are fragile, we are human,

We are shaped by the light we let through us.

We break fast, ‘cause we are glass.”

Thompson Square, Glass

Have you ever wanted to change the world but doubted yourself? After all, you’re just one in a couple billion; nothing you do would ever have an effect on the world, right?

Wrong.

You have the power to make the world a better place, and the key is compassion.

The song Glass by Thompson Square reminded me that everyone faces struggles throughout their lives, and it’s important to be empathetic with everyone’s feelings. Showing compassion toward people will not only make them happier; it will help you through your own struggles which will make you happier.

What is Compassion?

A glass heartAccording to dictionary.com, the definition of compassion is “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” It doesn’t matter what gender, age, race, or religion you are; misfortunes take place in everyone’s lives at some point or another. Misfortunes can be anything from receiving a bad grade, to losing a loved one. What may be a misfortune to you, may not be a misfortune to somebody else.

Common misfortunes:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Financial problems
  • Loss of health (physically or mentally)
  • Substance abuse
  • Dealing with a broken heart

The list could go on… The point is, you don’t know what another person has gone through, or is currently going through. It’s not your place to pass judgments on someone else simply because you don’t know what it’s like to be them.

Benefits of Being Compassionate

Being compassionate has a number of benefits. In my own personal experience, showing compassion toward others has given me happiness. According to The Washington Post, being compassionate improves your health by stimulating your reward centers and decreasing stress levels.

Other benefits:

  • Makes you approachable
  • Earns you respect
  • Gives you purpose

Traits of Compassionate People

Compassionate people have a few traits that help them help others. In order to show compassionate, strive to be:

  • Patient
  • Accepting
  • Mindful
  • Altruistic
  • Respectful
  • Trustworthy

Incorporating Compassion into Your Life

There are tons of ways to show compassion for others. A simple gesture such as holding the door open for someone is enough. You could even pay for a meal for the person behind you in a drive-thru. No matter how big or small, compassion matters.

Other ways to show compassion:

  • Make dinner for someone who is struggling financially
  • Visit someone who is sick in the hospital
  • Tell someone how much you appreciate them
  • Shovel your neighbors driveway
  • Help an elderly person carry groceries

Being compassionate might take practice, but if you make a conscious effort, others might follow your example.

Last Thoughts

So, next time you feel motivated to make a change in the world, remember that the power resides in you – even if you’re just one person.

What are some ways you have shown compassion for others?

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