COMPASSION – GENUINE CARE
BUT DO YOU REALLY?
Compassion, at its core, comes from finding a place within to care for others genuinely. Compassion could be for a person, group, nature, family, or everybody. Some people can only find themselves to have compassion for those around them or who have done well for them.
It can be hard to find compassion and thankfulness for strangers or those who may have wronged us.
Those that can tend to be the ones to truly make a difference in many peoples’ lives. Your level of compassion relates directly to your level of tolerance. Our culture is very diverse, and the majority of people will think differently than you.
Compassion requires patience – acceptance
Expanding your compassion requires patience and tolerance towards things and people that may be different or not think or act to your liking. Compassion helps promote peace and acceptance in those times, which has a deep impact on our emotional states.
Remember that peace and happiness come from within, not from outside. It is one thing to dislike a behavior or opinion; it is another to have no compassion or care for a person because of their opinion. That is just being closed-minded to just how big and diverse the world and people’s experiences are.
THE ENEMY OF COMPASSION – SELFISHNESS
Compassion tempers the cruelty inside of us. The natural enemy of compassion is selfishness. Basing your actions, behaviors, and opinions only on what is good for you removes your ability to think about how they affect others.
We have all seen how arguments and debates often escalate due to the selfishness of the participants. Martial Arts are not about being right or tearing others down to win. The arts are about being in control of yourself, not forcing yourself on others.
The first step of compassion is trying to be understanding. Trying to understand a situation fully, or where someone is coming from by listening BEFORE knocking them down with your point or downplaying their feelings.
This is a huge cause of miscommunication in relationships. Assuming we understand what the other is saying, without really looking at it through their eyes.
DISAGREEMENTS ARE A CONSTANT
Even if you dislike or disagree with someone, compassion is a quick way to being at peace for yourself.
When you can find in yourself an ability to still care about people even if they have wronged you, you become less tormented by stress in your life.
For example, you may not agree with or get along with someone at work or school. Tolerance and compassion give you the ability to feel the way you do while still respecting them for who they are and how they think. It’s really cool because it helps you get along better with people and make more friends. With less drama.
ISN’T CARING ENOUGH?
I recently heard this from someone “isn’t just caring enough.” When talking about going out of your way to show your care. “I say I care, that should be enough.”
Knowing you care and someone else seeing how much you care are two completely different things. Last week we discussed Integrity, keeping your word, and how that makes your word valuable. Is just saying that you care enough to make whoever your speaking to feel valued?
Saying it does mean something, sometimes. Like anything else, though, if you all you do is talk without backing it up, who will keep believing you? We all know the boy who cried wolf.
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
We all know this, anyone can talk, but few put action to their words. I understand being busy; boy, do I understand that. There are many small ways to show how much you care about someone, something, or a situation.
Do you ever do the chores someone you care about normally does to help them out? Not offer to do them, actually do them.
How about run a nice bubble bath for someone you know has had a tough day? Maybe just play a game with them to get their mind off it?
Do you ever take leftover food to give to someone, just because you know it would help them?
Do you ever smile at a stranger when they seemed stressed? Many of us have been to one store or another where one of the workers is overloaded, near overwhelmed. We’ve seen people in line grumbling about it, making short remarks about it in front of the worker. You ever smile at them, tell them its okay, you are not in a hurry. Tell them to slow down and breathe?
Do you ask questions before trying to make a point? To make sure you understand exactly where someone is coming from or how they are feeling?
NO PROBLEM TOO SMALL
I’m going to talk about kids for a minute. I know not all of you reading this may have kids, but those that do, you can’t always know what they are thinking and feeling, especially early on.
It is easy as they grow older to continue to do as we do when they can’t communicate, mostly guessing and assuming instead.
The thing is, kids can understand a ton more by age 5-8 than many of us realize. Developmentally, they are still very much slaves to their thoughts and emotions. It is easy for us to get busy and pass off their sadness or frustration as ‘not a big deal’ or ‘nothing to get worked up over.’
To us, what may seem tiny, might be a good part of the world to them.
But if it was you…
My own son lost one of his favorite toys recently. I downplayed it and acted like it was no big deal; he calmed down and stopped talking about it. I thought I did the right thing.
I didn’t realize until days later how much it had meant to him, though. It was more than the toy itself to him. It was a safety net. It had sentimental value, and I had just passed off something that meant a good deal to him. Something that left him feeling empty and sad.
So I backpedaled, I showed I cared
I sat with him, asked him questions about how it made him feel. Why he was having trouble dealing with life without it. I tried to relate the toy to something I use a lot and has sentimental value to me. How would I feel if I lost it? Then those I cared about played it down like it didn’t matter?
Then I understood; I was in his shoes and understood exactly how it feels because I have felt it before. Now I was better equipped to help him deal with the situation and find a solution to the problem.
It also gave me an amazing opportunity to teach a valuable lesson on paying attention to our things (focus), respecting our things and treating them well, not rushing through, and how to take steps to solve a problem.
Check out our Compassion week power phrases below to use as mantra’s or family motto’s to help set the tone of practicing COMPASSION.
COMPASSION WEEK POWER PHRASE’S & QUESTIONS
These phrases make great mantra’s and family motto’s when discussing and working on the concepts of Compassion. Share with us. Do you have more? What are your favorites?
Compassion Power Phrases:
I CARE ABOUT OTHER’S
I CARE TO TRY MY BEST
Tell your partner YOU ARE IMPORTANT.
Tell your parents (FACE THE PARENTS) YOU ARE IMPORTANT/I CARE ABOUT YOU.
Compassion Power Questions:
Who Cares? (class lead to say) I CARE
Does kicking someone for no reason show compassion? NO SIR
If I bump into someone and don’t ask if they are okay, does that show compassion? NO SIR
Does asking how others feel show compassion? YES SIR
What does compassion mean? CARE FOR OTHERS
Who is going to show care for their partners? ME SIR
Who is going to watch out for others around them? ME SIR
Who is going to care about those around them? everyone says I CARE – I CARE