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 Isabella_the_Lost
Joined: 6/21/2009
Msg: 48
What is compassion?Page 3 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Runs with Wolves.... wow. That was a great post. I think you nailed it there, hon. Kudos!
 Nina1000
Joined: 5/28/2009
Msg: 49
What is compassion?
Posted: 8/12/2009 10:11:11 PM
I am not sure. Compassion is not a synonym of intelligence. Compassion accompanied by wisdom is a great asset. Compassion and lack of judgment? That might just be foolishness. Empathy is great, understanding is great: they keep one at peace. Do they always help those that need to be helped? Not always. Now, if one uses wisdom and intelligence with compassion, that usually produces a Win-Win situation. One can love the hard way too....sometimes it is more helpful: it depends on the circumstances. I would not define myself as a compassionate person. I have probably more wisdom than compassion. Now, if you intend 'compassion' as 'concern' for the well being of humanity, yes, of course I am compassionate. If you intend 'compassion' as pity, then no, I am not. Compassion is ultimately unconditional love. Am I able to love everybody unconditionally, just because they are Human beings? No, not really. Some people I dislike and I find other people indifferent. Obviously I am not enlightened YET. However, I do not hate anybody, if this can be a consolation. I limit myself to liking or disliking.
 Free-At-Last
Joined: 7/15/2009
Msg: 50
What is compassion?
Posted: 8/12/2009 10:35:35 PM
A common question Taoists about compassion, "If you see a kitten in imminent danger of being run over by a truck . . . "
* Do you dash out to save kitty from being killed?
* Do you accept that the kitten is fulfilling its purpose to be in the path of the truck, whatever the outcome may be?
* Do you acknowledge the fate of the kitten may be part of the life path for the truck driver?


Let's just say I'd be alot more compassionate about this situation if it was a DOG rather than a cat.
(sorry kitty lovers!)
 raraavis41
Joined: 9/20/2006
Msg: 51
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What is compassion?
Posted: 8/15/2009 2:40:04 AM

they often think to much and do too little

And sometimes less is more... usually realized after thinking enough.

Compassion is unique for each circumstance, and it certainly creates a closer bond if a person has had first hand experience with the suffering that initiates the compassion. But the actions one takes as a result of compassion should be a result of reason, not emotion, or the outcome might be something that requires yet more compassion.
 Sannia
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 52
What is compassion?
Posted: 9/17/2009 11:46:19 AM
via Old French from ecclesiastical Latin compassio(n-), from compati ‘suffer with.’

If you are able to share and accept the suffering of another ( without rejecting it or having aversion for it), then you are compassionate.
 kari135
Joined: 9/1/2009
Msg: 53
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What is compassion?
Posted: 9/17/2009 12:51:46 PM
To me, compassion is empathetic understanding. It's understanding how and why a person or animal got the way they are. It's also about knowing one's limits, as in how much one can do beyond listening non-judgementally, and not trying to 'fix' someone without having them ask for help. Animals are different, they have no voice to ask, but they still deserve the best they can have, whether it's a caring home or a pain-free death - domestic animals are a creation of mankind and should be a responibility of mankind. Wild animals are in still another category, but we share their habitat and need to keep that in mind. We are the interlopers, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't hunt, it means we should hunt humanely, and kill as painlessly as possible.

It's not excusing bad behavior because someone has suffered in the past - as in a majority of child/spouse abusers were themselves abused - but holding them accountable anyway.

For non-vegetarians, it's caring for meat animals kindly, and killing them with as little pain or suffering as possible.

Regarding the kitten/truck scenario, I'd save it if I could, and if I couldn't and it was still alive, I'd either get it to a vet or end it's suffering as soon as possible.
 Sapphireeyes
Joined: 1/13/2008
Msg: 54
What is compassion?
Posted: 9/17/2009 12:59:39 PM
Compassion to me is understanding where the other person is coming from, what drives them and then accepting them as they are.

My father was one of the infants that was thrown away in the trash, his adopt mom died when he was 5 and he was raised in a Nunnery during the depression, he met a girl got engaged and while he was working to pay for the engagement ring she married his best friend behind his back. He then met my mom and they were married for almost 30 years before he died.

He was a hard ass construction foreman, he drank, he cussed and he could be violent. Once I understood what had happened in his life, to make him respond to love the way he did, I understood his place in my life. He could be a cold cold man, but there was a reason for it. I love my father very much and appreciate all that he did for me. My brother has never forgiven him and still dislikes him.

I think he was one of the most amazing individuals who ever lived. The fact that he could have had so many people, including his own mother abandon him and yet he was willing to try love again with my mom...that to me is impressive.
 Tennis-Fan
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 55
What is compassion?
Posted: 9/17/2009 4:38:22 PM
Your perception that sympathy and compassion are different things is just that: YOUR perception. According to the Random House Dictionary, they aren't all that different...

Sympathy, compassion, pity, empathy all denote the tendency, practice, or capacity to share in the feelings of others, especially their distress, sorrow, or unfulfilled desires. Sympathy is the broadest of these terms, signifying a general kinship with another's feelings, no matter of what kind: in sympathy with her yearning for peace and freedom; to extend sympathy to the bereaved. Compassion implies a deep sympathy for the sorrows or troubles of another coupled to a powerful urge to alleviate the pain or distress or to remove its source.

I used the word compassion in my profile, and all I can say is that I have my own perception of its meaning. Basically, I believe compassion is the practice of accepting another's failings as well as their virtues, recognizing that nobody is perfect, and therefore not deserving of another's judgment or condemnation.
 Rosita5432
Joined: 7/15/2009
Msg: 56
What is compassion?
Posted: 9/18/2009 12:31:33 PM
Compassion is a human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another's suffering. It is often, though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in the social context as altruism. In ethical terms, the various expressions down the ages of the so-called Golden Rule embody by implication the principle of compassion: Do to others what you would have them do to you.

The English noun compassion, meaning to suffer together with, comes from the Latin. Its prefix com- comes directly from com, an archaic version of the Latin preposition and affix cum (= with); the -passion segment is derived from passus, past participle of the deponent verb patior, patī, passus sum. Compassion is thus related in origin, form and meaning to the English noun patient (= one who suffers), from patiens, present participle of the same patior, and is akin to the Greek verb πάσχειν (= paskhein, to suffer)'
 blueyesrsmiling
Joined: 6/25/2008
Msg: 57
What is compassion?
Posted: 9/18/2009 12:53:38 PM

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Compassion personified: a statue at the Epcot center in Florida-Compassion is a human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another's suffering. It is often, though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in the social context as altruism. In ethical terms, the various expressions down the ages of the so-called Golden Rule embody by implication the principle of compassion: Do to others what you would have them do to you. [1]

The English noun compassion, meaning to suffer together with, comes from the Latin. Its prefix com- comes directly from com, an archaic version of the Latin preposition and affix cum (= with); the -passion segment is derived from passus, past participle of the deponent verb patior, patī, passus sum. Compassion is thus related in origin, form and meaning to the English noun patient (= one who suffers), from patiens, present participle of the same patior, and is akin to the Greek verb πάσχειν (= paskhein, to suffer) and to its cognate noun πάθος (= pathos).[2][3]

Ranked a great virtue in numerous philosophies, compassion is considered in all the major religious traditions as among the greatest of virtues.

I thought I would throw in the dictionary meaning ........
To watch others suffer I do feel compassionate. To help those that can't help theirselves are they are going through a very hard time.....sometimes I have to be careful because some people get caught up in suffering and focus totally on that. So to be compassionate and to offer my help or to be helpful during this person's suffering it needs balance.......and sometimes people have to suffer. Not fair not what I like to see but later much later I get answers and it helps keep the world in a balanced view ....
 LOVESTRUCK_wannabe
Joined: 5/24/2009
Msg: 58
What is compassion?
Posted: 9/18/2009 5:12:24 PM
I think compassion is a rather fleeting behaviour that can be seen in one person in one set of circumstances one moment and be totally absent in the next.
 leekatherine
Joined: 7/27/2009
Msg: 59
What is compassion?
Posted: 9/18/2009 6:03:26 PM
Compassion is listed as an important "want" for me in my profile. I am involved in dog rescue, and am a confirmed liberal (as I state there as well) both politically and philospohically. So, just for me, compassion means caring and acting. I would run for the kitty, but I'd be careful doing it. I would speak up if I saw animal abuse. I choose not to be close to people who practice any of the "isms" -- racism, ageism, etc. I choose what I am actively compassionate about. So that seems to prove that one can be compassionate in one set of circumstances and totally absent in the next.

This is a great thread; one that I'll reread when it's not the end of the day and my brain's a little fresher.
 kari135
Joined: 9/1/2009
Msg: 60
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What is compassion?
Posted: 9/18/2009 6:17:30 PM
"Compassion is a human emotion prompted by the pain of others."

Actually, it's not limited to humans. There is a fascinating book called The Compassion of Animals that is well worth reading.
 andserendipity
Joined: 7/19/2008
Msg: 61
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What is compassion?
Posted: 9/18/2009 7:52:18 PM
maybe not just pain, either-- compassion could be for someone struggling to succeed or trying to learn, tasting something for the first time (say a 2 year old), people in various situations where there is no pain but an uncertain outcome... and so on.... in a larger way, attempting to understand by feeling what another feels...

JMO
 littlesmiley
Joined: 8/26/2008
Msg: 62
What is compassion?
Posted: 9/18/2009 8:54:09 PM
For me compassion is one of the great allies of love.

In every event you can choose between love and fear but you can rarely choose love without compassion.

It's the moment when you allow judgements to be replaced with 'there but for the grace of .. go I' and emit love rather than fear reactions, regardless of its impact on you.

In the kitten on the road scenario no one can judge the outcomes, it is an event shared, even by those not present - eg there may be the child who has nurtured and cared for the kitten and absently let it out of a safe environment, her parents who will either scold her or be compassionate for her in her suffering.

There may be the children of the truck driver who may not understand why daddy is upset when he gets home, or the mother crossing the road further up pushing a stroller with a baby in it who may never know the kitty survived but gave the driver a scare and made him more attentive.

It's the moment when your heart comes into your mouth and speaks love instead of condemnation.

The pebble we drop into the pond that spreads love outwards even further than our view.

For me, its a powerful, conscious choice.
 Stray__Cat
Joined: 7/12/2006
Msg: 63
What is compassion?
Posted: 9/18/2009 10:08:12 PM
Compassion is realizing another's pain.
example:
Seeing the kitten in the road and wishing to help.

Skilled compassion is seeing pain and helping without getting onself hurt .
example:
Getting the kitten out of the road and not getting run over yourself.

Idiot compassion is seeing the pain and running out into the road blindly.
Both get hit.
Compassion is there, but doesn't help the kitten and does yourself harm.

But sometimes we can't save the kitten...
cus we can't run out into the road....
and we have to accept that.
which gets us back to compassion.

When we can give compassion universally without exception, no matter what...
no matter the result...
it is not empathy, sympathy, or sorrow.
But joy.

The same joy God has for us.
universally.
without exception.
whether we deserve it or not.
or know it or not.

compassion.
 NCPantherFan
Joined: 5/7/2009
Msg: 64
What is compassion?
Posted: 9/18/2009 10:16:57 PM
smiles...I took the chance...smh,,,,,,was a terrible experience......Being alone isn't so bad after all......
 mirabelle13
Joined: 9/16/2009
Msg: 65
What is compassion?
Posted: 9/20/2009 2:55:49 PM
Thanks for the quote, Ismene.
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