C is for Compassion

This morning I have Glenn Campbell in my head.
Okay, he ain’t no Johnny Depp in Pirates but he has a wonderful voice and a great message.

If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he’s sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and stay you’re going the wrong way

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Don’t walk around the down and out
Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day
Will help someone along their way

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Kindness and compassion for others goes a long way in our world.

I’ve blogged before about ‘walking in another’s shoes’ and how you don’t know a person’s journey unless you are travelling it yourself. Many of us find it easy to sit in our ivory towers and look out on others who don’t meet our personal expectations or standards that we have imposed. From the first moment we meet someone, we often place a ‘label’ on them. We place labels such as ‘fat and lazy’, ‘snobbish’ or ‘ugly’. There are very few in the world who would not do this. It’s natural. We appraise someone with our eyes (and ears) and make snap judgements on their character within the first minute of meeting them. How many times have we done this and got it wrong? If we had a little compassion for the other person and resisted judgement, we might find that the ‘fat and lazy’ person over there is battling a disease that requires drug treatments that cause weight gain. We might find that the ‘snobbish’ woman is painfully shy and that the ‘ugly’ person is not that at all but rather a beautiful soul.

By reserving judgement and having compassion for another person, we are giving ourselves so much more than we are giving the other person. During times of hardship and duress such as bushfires, floods, tsunamis or other other natural disasters the compassionate nature of people comes to the fore as they reach out their hands to their fellow human beings and offer hope and assistance. How much more beautiful would the world be if mankind had no need to wait until a disaster to do this?

However, I want to point out that kindness and compassion is wonderful when we are sharing it with others, but there are times that we overlook the most important person that requires compassion –ย  and that is ourselves.
Being compassionate to yourself is the first step. Showing compassion to others will naturally follow on.
Some of us, are our own harshest critics. We judge ourselves daily and then berate ourselves when we come up short on what we think we should be. (I’m speaking from experience here).
If we take the time to show compassion to ourselves, we will become happy within our own skins. If we take the time to accept our flaws but still be kind we can become more loving and giving to others.
Nobody is perfect. We know that.
And we are not perfect either.
Choosing to accept ourselves for who we are right now is showing compassion to ourselves.
Choosing to reach out our hand and understand the people around us is showing compassion to others.
Can we make a conscious effort today to do both of these?

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22 thoughts on “C is for Compassion

  1. I think growing older has helped me to accept who I am, what I can and can’t change. And to get over the “flaws.” It takes an effort to be able to look at others with compassion and and a non judgmental eye, but the more a person does it, the more natural it does become. Great post Sue.

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  2. Thanks for that Suz! I needed to read this today of all days. I have been pretty hard on myself but you know what I have to show compassion for myself otherwise who else is going to do it. I find it a struggle to remember to be compassionate to myself because I can be my worst critic. {{{HUGS}}}

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    1. As am I my friend. We need to be kind to ourselves because we aren’t perfect and we need to realise that. We all make mistakes but mistakes can be fixed.
      Life is a learning process and we learn by making mistakes. Take care.

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  3. Hello, stopping by from AtoZ. I have blogged about that very same thing …compassion. If we all could just try to show a little more kindness and compassion, just maybe we could make a better world for everyone.

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  4. I worked for a couple years as a teller in a bank, and the elderly who came in were always so cranky and critical. At first I took it personally, but eventually realized that change is difficult for them – especially technological change – and many of them (particularly men) are hard of hearing. They all have chronic aches; cumulative injuries and illnesses. Who wouldn’t be a little crabby? It gave me a different way of looking at strangers and first impressions – not always assuming it was about “me”, or that they aren’t friendly. They might just be struggling with their own issues.

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    1. I had some similar experience working in a call centre. A lot of old people call in because to go to the branch is hard for them but then again a lot of them are hard of hearing and struggle with unfamiliar accents. As a non-native speaker I always took it personally until I turned it around and realised it must be really hard on them, too.
      Andrea, #atozchallenge Mighty Minion Asset

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    2. I have worked in customer service a number of times over the years (including as a bank teller lol). I agree that this is the case. I have actually taken to speaking to my colleagues at work some days and telling them “I’m not being rude. You haven’t done anything wrong but all is not right in my world right now and I may reflect that today”.

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  5. I really enjoyed this post. You are a good writer. I like how you ended it by saying we each are our own worst critic. If I see myself as an ugly fat a** then that’s the lens I am more likely to see the rest of the world in. I found your blog via the A-Z Challenge today. I’m looking forward to letter D!

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    1. Thank you. I enjoyed your post also. Great to see so many interpretations of the letter C.
      And yes, the lens in which we look through is very important to how we view the world.

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  6. Nice one Sue ๐Ÿ˜€
    I agree, the hardest part is loving ourselves. There’s so much that can get in the way … not to mention the years of conditioning which makes it a habit that’s tough to break without a lot of practice.
    There’s a great quiz – as well as resources – at Dr Kristen Neff’s website. Its easy to take the quiz and see how compassionate one is! I’m sharing here for others to connect with her views and the quiz:
    http://findyourmiddleground.com/2013/11/14/do-you-need-to-be-kinder-to-yourself-the-answer-is-yes/
    Val x

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    1. Thank you for that Val. I did the quiz (scored badly) but then I am aware that I am very hard on myself. I was interested to see that Kristen Neff is the same person who wrote the Horse Boy. I read that book last year and found it extremely beautiful.

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  7. Compassion for ourselves. What a concept, I should use it on myself ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Okay, I’m being a smarty pants, but I’m starting to ease off on myself…I don’t know for sure, I have to go back and read a few blog posts. Very nice post, Sue. What you have inside is so beautiful, if you could only see what I see through your writing.

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    1. Why yes dear, you should.
      You know I did that quiz that Val posted the link to in the comments and I have a long way to go toward being kind to myself.
      I am glad you find inspiration and beauty in my words April. I often reread and don’t see what others do but then as I said before, I am my own worst critic. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Hugs hun.

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