By Maggie Franz
Compassion—sympathetic pity and concern for the suffering or misfortunes of others.
Synonyms: pity, sympathy, empathy, care, concern, fellow feeling, tolerance, kindness, charity, humanity.
Resources list humanity as a synonym of compassion, which to me is very poignant, very powerful. The other synonyms are expected; they readily make sense. However, humanity evokes more thought and contemplation. Humanity, being made up of all humans, all incredibly unique, with different experiences, emotions, thoughts and feelings.
We all walk our own journey and have our own down times, our own troubles and burdens—just as we all have our joys and moments of happiness. The linkage of these two words, the condition or state of being human and caring for others is natural. It is inherent. Deviation from this is unnatural and is becomes a multiplier of negative emotions like sadness, loss, and loneliness.
In all of our diversity there is sameness.
We have felt the same emotions albeit maybe at different times, for different reasons and in different intensities, but we know do know them. We know anger, sadness, despair. During our moments of joy we should recognize, be cognizant that others might not be experiencing the same, that they might be suffering in the grip of despair, or pain of depression.
By being so, when someone is rude, mean or indifferent, we readily treat them with compassion rather than match their words or actions. Responding to harsh words with harsh words only causes more negative emotions. Acting or speaking kindly though, has the potential to change their state of being, if only for the day, if only for the moment. We have the power to uplift them through compassion, and share in the kindred feeling, the fellow feeling inspired by positive change.
If we focus on our humanity, our compassion and treat others with empathy, sympathy, care, concern, kindness or charity, we could change the world.
We have the power to make our community, our city, state, country and world a much more positive place through our inherent capability to have compassion. There will always be pain, it is part of the human condition. Pain is a tool, a gauge so that we might recognize or know how good the happy times are. With compassion, we can lessen the blow of pain, and shorten its hold on us. Through living with compassion you have the potential to change the world.
Maggie Franz is wondering and wandering in Western Pennsylvania. She is a free spirit with a passion for adventure and writing. A marketer by trade, Maggie has found ways to combine her passions in various websites and blogs over the years, the most recent being a lifestyle and travel blog, GypsyWonders. Hiking, biking and skiing are her preferred methods of travel while yoga keeps her grounded and focused. At 27 years young the spark of adventure is quickly being fanned into a leaping flame and Maggie is looking forward to traveling, meeting new people, and sharing her experiences and life lessons with kindred spirits. Maggie has worked as a yoga teacher, ski instructor, field hockey coach, and for about 5 years in various marketing roles.
Editor: Sherrin Fitzer