So, last month’s blog was on the matter of respect. This month I want to bring to light the matter of compassion, which understandably ties to respect; for without one you cannot have the other. As I always do, I want to start off with providing you with the basis of understanding concerning this word, so we can capture its full impact. Compassion is a verb, and it is defined as sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). This is a significant definition in that it involves not only a call to action but indicates a motivation; sympathetic consciousness. This means that one is motivated through being able to relate to what the inflicted person is going through, and that there is a cognitive or thought (decision making) process that is involved before one will actually put forth the action to display compassion. A couple of synonyms for compassion are pity and condolence.
In this blog’s accompanying collage, there are a number of images that capture people in the act of showing compassion. At the center of this collage, is a very profound statement, which is the focal point of why it is such an important matter. It states that, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive” (Gyatso, n.d.). We were designed for the very purpose of having relationships with others. If this were not so, then why would a Tibetan Monk, who rose to the top of Buddhism, an Eastern religion, as the 14th Dalai Lama, say the very thing that God, Elohim (The Creator), said at the time that He created Eve; And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:18, New King James Version (NKJV)).
Jesus later expounded on this in answering the following series of questions, … ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40And the King [Jesus] will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’ (Matthew 25:37-40, NKJV).
People can have and show compassion for a number of things, but the key aspect to all of them is that they are “living” things; be it a person, an animal, or nature. Often times, people are also passionate about those things that are drawn toward with compassion. People won’t serve and dedicate their time and resources to things that they don’t really care or have a passion for.
Sadly though, in the world we live in today, there are a number of non-compassionate or in other words self-centered people. Look at the following and consider how exactly it applies to the world we live in today.
But know this, that in the last days perilous times [times of stress] will come: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (II Timothy 3:1-4, NKJV).
So, I’m sure if you didn’t see it before, you can now clearly see the connection between respect and compassion, and how without one you cannot have the other. This also ties into what many have come to know and identify as the “Golden Rule”, which is to do unto others as you want others to do to you. This actually comes from the Bible and is found in Luke 6:31, which also relates back to what Jesus said, concerning the two commandments that He left us with that fulfilled all of the law; “to love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself….’” (Matthew 22:37-40, NKJV).
In closing, I want to leave you with this… through a conscious act of compassion you will gain empowerment, for you are willfully taking on an act to help elevate another’s pain and suffering, even if only temporarily.
References and Resources:
Compassion (n.d.). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compassion. Retrieved on 27 September 2019.
Tenzin Gyatso (1998). Dalai Lama XIV Love and compassion quote. The Art of Happiness. Riverhead Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/ book/show/38210.The_Art_of_Happiness?from_choice=false&from_home_module=false Retrieved on 30 September 2019.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version (1985). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.