Identifying with another person is an essential process for human beings. Most turmoil in the world, whether it is political, cultural or religious, typically comes from a lack of deeper understanding of the others’ views, policies or way of life. Did you know in all religions around the world compassion is listed as one of the greatest virtues? By cultivating more compassion for others, we can connect on a deeper level and unite to create a better planet.
Compassion is defined as having a sympathetic response or concern for others in misfortune or suffering. Compassion doesn’t only have to come in misfortune or suffering, you can cultivate compassion for all beings at all times. It is a process of connecting to the oneness of the human spirit and being able to understand that if one person is suffering, we are all suffering collectively. It takes time to cultivate compassion. As you work toward self-love, forgiveness, and connecting on a deeper level with individuals, you can increase the amount of compassion you hold for others.
- The English noun compassion means to love together.
- Compassion is simply a variation of love or sadness, not a distinct emotion.
- Scientific studies suggest that people who practice compassion produce 100% more DHEA, which is a hormone that counteracts the aging process. It also showed a 23% reduction in the stress hormone cortisol.
- Feeling safe is a precondition to activating biological systems that promote compassion.
- Having a life history that’s led to a strong sense of social support puts self-preservation impulses to rest and allows feelings of compassion.
- Compassion comes more readily if people can be mindful of the present moment as it is occurring.
- Compassionate action, such a volunteering or assisting someone in need, activates pleasure circuits in the brain.
- Compassion is one of the most important attributes for physicians practicing medical services.
- You can actually train your brain to be more compassionate through coursework. Studies show coursework in compassion boost the frontal lobes and attenuates stress hormones.
How can I make an impact:
Tier 1: Global Goodness
- Lead by example. Start with yourself. The most important part of being able to cultivate compassion is to be compassionate with yourself. Let go of any negative thoughts, exercise, eat healthy, and adopt some sort of meditation or stillness practice. If you want to change the world, change yourself first.
- The first step in cultivating compassion is to develop empathy for others. Empathy is a base for having an emotional connection to others, thus is needed to cultivate compassion.
Tier 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- Research compassion. People will naturally cultivate compassion in different ways. By doing your research on different methods of cultivation you can choose a method that aligns with you.
- Instead of recognizing the differences between yourself and others, try to recognize your commonalities. In numerous ways we are much more alike than different.
Tier 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Random acts of kindness increase compassion. Holding a door for a stranger or buying a random stranger in line their coffee, are all ways we can connect to others and build compassion.
- Share what you learn. Educating your community, friends and family will spread awareness of the importance of compassion. The more people on the planet showing up with compassion for all, the better our planet will be.
- “As we grow in our consciousness, there will be more compassion and more love, and then barriers between people, between religions, between nations will begin to fall. Yes, we have to beat down the separateness.” – Rumi