Today is the day that 1000 Voices will speak for compassion. There is power in numbers and as the website says the world desperately needs compassion now. Our numbers will show politicians and those in power that this is what we want from them also.
Compassion is a natural human response to those people or animals whose plight we see as difficult. We don’t need to have empathy ( the ability to understand and share the feelings of another) to feel compassion. You just need to recognise that something is not right in a person’s life. This could be an individual, private sadness or one that effects entire communities or countries such as war, natural disasters and epidemics. Hopefully the compassion you feel will extend to reaching out a hand in kindness, in an attempt to make the situation easier for the person or people.
Kindness is genuinely caring about the world around you. Showing respect and compassion for others. Not ignoring what is happening but doing something. Little things. Instead of condemning a mother who has lost the plot in the shopping centre and hit her screaming two-year old, go and tell her she looks like she is having a bad day and invite her for a cup of coffee.
We have to be aware of what is around us and not live detached from the world. We have to care for our natural environment and animals. Most of us show great compassion to animals kept in poor circumstances but a little harder to extend that to what is foreign and not understood.
We are all human with the same basic needs and desires. We need to be compassionate and kind to everyone, no matter where they come from, no matter what their religious beliefs and values are or how wealthy they are or different from ourselves they are. And don’t forget – everyone includes yourself. Be kind to yourself.
People remember those small acts of kindness. Picking up something dropped, providing soup for a bereaved person, even a hug will give the recipient a warm all over glow and this is reflected back to the giver. Not only do you have this wonderful feeling but it seems to lessen your troubles, making them not seem insurmountable and connects you to the world a bit more than you were.
Write to politicians and let them know your displeasure at things like the treatment of refugees and lack of action on climate change. Use social media. Donate to agencies that make a difference in troubled areas of the world. To make change on a world level we have to act together, as one. Such as we are doing today.
I believe you aren’t born being kind (some people probably are) but it is something you can learn and practice. Reach out to others and in time it will come naturally. Practice will lead to better communication and understanding. It will make your life and perhaps the lives of others meaningful.
Piero Ferrucci in his book the Power of Kindness describes kindness as warm, resilient, patient, trusting, loyal and grateful. He also says that kindness “frees us from getting knotted up in negative attitudes and feelings such as resentment, jealousy, suspicion and manipulation.” If these feelings were gone the world would be a nicer place.