How to Be More Compassionate

“It is lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion toward others.
If we make friends with ourselves,
then there is no obstacle to opening our hearts and minds to others.”
– Unknown

How to be more compassionate, What is compassion, Cultivate compassion, Kindness
Photo credit: Compassion Bloggers

Compassion is a skill that is both learnable and teachable. And while some people are born with an amazing sense of compassion, others learn to cultivate it over time.

More than anything, compassion is an internal feeling of self-love that extends itself out into the world as self-acceptance and the acceptance of others.

To cultivate compassion, we must be willing to allow people to be the person they need or want to be, even when that may go against our own world view or life perspective.

This weekend, I watched a documentary from Something to Talk About, called The Last White Knight. It showcased a man from the KKK. Everything about what this man believes in is against my own set of beliefs, yet as the show progressed, it was interesting to see how I didn’t hate him, but had compassion for him. I felt sad that he harbored so much hate and since of segregation.

People have a belief that if someone is different from them, that means the other person is bad or wrong. When we have compassion we are able to objectively see people for their humanness and not allow our differences to separate us.

In any situation, remember that person could see YOU as someone to be feared or loathed.

If we can remember our sameness, our humanness and allow people to have different thoughts, feelings and beliefs that we do, we can cultivate a greater sense of compassion for all people and living beings.

“The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.” – Thomas Merton

2 thoughts on “How to Be More Compassionate

  1. Julio Blanco says:

    Hi Andrea,

    As I read your post, I imagined the man from KKK and I both being one-year-olds playing together. I’m sure he wouldn’t hate me at that point, given his true nature is love and compassion, while his hatred was learned. Strange how some souls choose to play out a drama of a hate-filled life… giving the rest of us a chance to find even stronger reasons for compassion.

    Julio

  2. Andrea says:

    You are exactly right, hate is not in our true nature, it’s learned and ultimately becomes a choice. And, what a wonderful perspective to see it as an opportunity for people like us to be more compassionate.

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