Compassion doesn’t mean feeling sorry for people. It doesn’t mean pity. It means putting yourself in the position of the other, learning about the other, learning what’s motivating the other, learning about their grievances… their pain, their humanity.
The value of compassion cannot be over-emphasized. Anyone can criticize. It takes a true believer to be compassionate.
~Arthur H. Stainback
If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.
The judged self can only be judged but not known.
Compassion allows us to use our own pain and the pain of others as a vehicle for connection.
~Sharon Salzberg in The Kindness Handbook
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome
We must remember that if we are to give compassion to others, we must first be compassionate with ourselves. Today, I urge you to take a moment, notice your breath, and search your depths. Is there anything about yourself–a failure, an insecurity, a bad habit, a negative emotion–for which you are very hard on yourself? When you find that thing, say the following words. I will use ‘anger’ for the example, but insert your own hang-up: “I see my anger. I care about my anger. I desire an end to my anger. May I hold my anger with tenderness.
I still believe that having compassion for others is not the same as saying that the harm they cause is ok. Empathy is not exoneration.
Your acts of kindness
are iridescent wings
of divine love
which linger and continue to uplift others
long after your sharing
(Curated and adapted for KUF from the 2020 Soul Matters materials for the theme ‘Compassion’ by Rev. Beckett Coppola.)