Compassion and Pity


“While pity shows a lack of respect for other human beings, compassion has its roots in a deep respect for others. Pity is an emotion; compassion is a connection. Compassion sees the other as equal. Compassion happens when we care for another person enough to make his or her problems our own.”
― Matt Litton


In the past couple of weeks I have met people who have presented me with an interesting paradox. They simultaneously demand both pity and respect and tho I try hard I just can’t do it. Oh I can feel compassion for them easily enough. I know their lives and know that while they have it rough, so much of their suffering is self-inflicted. Yet they don’t seem to wish for their suffering to end as much as they want people to feel sorry for them and take care of them. Then they resent the people helping them and push them away and then berate their would be benefactors for their lack of respect and bemoan their fate. It’s a cycle that’s rough.
But then we humans are a contrary lot and often the major things we have to work out end up paradoxical in some way. Whether we need self-esteem, connection or openness, we find the oddest ways to stop ourselves from getting them. May all beings be released from suffering indeed. Especially that which we inflict on ourselves.
Blessings, G


Click on images to see full-sized:


Emperor's FoundationEmperor’s Foundation by G A Rosenberg


StarheartStarheart by G A Rosenberg

0 thoughts on “Compassion and Pity”

      1. Hum ..interesting ..I should be skeptical to tell others that I just been diagnosed with cancer for it might be interpreted as asking them to feel pity for me…after all I would not want to feel judged

        1. well, no… there is a difference between sharing something with friends that is hard and wanting people to feel sorry for you.
          Now if 2 years after your diagnosis and remission you are still looking at people sadly, breaking into tears at every conversation and saying “Yes and I can die at any time….” then you might want to look at that 🙂

          1. Everyone is different ..for example people might get cured from a chronic illness but still left with chronic depression . My grandmother died over 20 years ago and I still get tearful when I talk about her as I miss her dearly.

          2. When the love is deep, the memories tend to come when they come… I know what it is to miss someone…

          1. Out of curiosity… If you were given that diagnosis, which response would you rather get from someone–
            “How horrible, you poor thing. What can I give you?” or
            “Wow, that’s rough. What do you need to help you deal with this?”

          2. Nope none of that and the only reason I opened up and said it was to ask others for prayers as I do believe in the power of prayer when it is done from the heart of people who are capable of caring

          3. Yes for sure and again… asking for prayers is a lot different than asking people to feel sorry for you / pity.
            True prayer is always compassionate.
            and you do have my prayers

          4. We have a cancer center close by and all of the people there get together and vent three times av week after practicing some meditations technique. The support is great and they have counseling if anyone needs it.

  1. Important post you have created! I have been through this many, many times. Now I try to remember to ask the person what he/she wants, and what he/she wants to hear from me. It usually makes them think a bit about their behavior and the manipulations. When the person is feeling stronger and thus rejects me and my help I try to move on in happiness that they again found their way to strength. We are all connected but sometimes we must (perhaps) accentuate a bit of separation.

  2. P.S. and no, I have by no means mastered such situations / persons. I am getting better at letting go of friendships, relationships etc. that no longer provide me with learning that I need, and to seek out others that vibrate more / better ? on the levels where I currently am or am evolving towards. However, in spite of all the decades of spiritual learning and life dramatics, I still get thrown temporarily out-of-balance when faced with lies, long-term deceit and power-play manipulations. I do not want the world to be like it is; but I guess the world / humanity is still “perfect” (with all its imperfections) … and only I can change my Self and my experiences. It is good that we have our writing and our art, my Friend.

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