Compassion is recognizing the deep commonalities that define us as human beings. It is recognizing the common interests that we all have and seeing them in each other. Below are the points I try to remember each day as I interact with others. They help me to stay humble and keep my heart in a softer place. I hope you find them helpful too.
Feeling compassion is not feeling responsible or guilty nor is it showering another with belittling pity. It is not saying we need to fix anything or anyone, including ourselves. It is not saying we become doormats and pretend whatever we do or others do is Ok. Compassion is a way of seeing that alters our interactions to be more loving and less harsh. It is a way of perceiving that allows us to keep our own hearts in a space of greater ease even as we confront great difficulty. It is a way of realizing our common interests as human beings. It is the way we begin to descend from our guard towers of righteousness and into the land of community once again. It is the force that will ultimately save the human race from itself.
My points of compassion:
Everyone wants to be loved, to express love, and have their love received.
Everyone wants to be acknowledged, seen, and heard.
Everyone is doing their best with what they have been given and what they know, even when it doesn’t seem like they are.
Everyone wants to feel they are valuable and valued.
Everyone wants to feel they belong.
Everyone wants to feel safe.
Everyone messes up, and everyone messes up epically at some point.
Everyone is accountable to their hurtful or dangerous actions, words, or behaviors no matter what suffering drives them. We can have compassion for someone’s suffering and set clear boundaries of “ok/not ok” at the same time.
No one wants to be humiliated, laughed at, or ridiculed.
No one wants to feel they are expendable, disposable, or unimportant.
Everyone wants to feel respected.
No one wants to feel they are helpless or powerless.
Everyone gets it right and everyone gets it wrong.
Everyone wants to do well, even when it seems like they want the opposite.
Everyone is afraid of being hurt and everyone tries to avoid pain.
Everyone experiences difficulty in their lives, and everyone experiences joy in their lives. We all want less difficulty and more joy.
Everyone wants love. While we may not nor should we feel we have to like everyone, we can certainly love everyone. We all want the same things.