Three quotes tonight but they all dance around a common theme that has been on my mind quite a bit lately and perhaps more and more in my heart:
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
“for there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.”
― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
For the sake of discussion, let’s define compassion as the ability to put yourself in another’s shoes and thus gain an understanding of them and their needs. Perhaps what empathy aspires to be when it grows up or perhaps when we grow up.
When we feel compassion for someone, it does not mean feeling sorry for them tho it does mean feeling their suffering. It does not mean we give them our agreement as much as our understanding. Often when practicing compassion, it means we are there suffering with them yet we know to spoon feed them what they need to stop their suffering, we are cheating them out of a lesson they will now have to find a new way to learn.
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One from the archives: