Compassion: Meaning, Benefits and How to Be Compassionate

Posted on the 19 March 2021 by @InvajyC
Compassion: Meaning, benefits and how to be compassionate

One question has kept bugging me always - " What is the purpose of life?" Whenever I ponder on this, the answer comes - " I want to live meaningful and fulfilling life; to stretch my abilities; to cultivate what is best within myself; and to enhance my experiences of love, happiness, satisfaction and peace of mind." To fulfill this purpose of life, one need to be compassionate. Compassion and daily acts of kindness make life far meaningful and fulfilling. It motivates to go beyond your abilities and spread love & happiness. It enriches your experience of satisfaction and peace of mind. The irony of being more compassionate is that the very act of giving to others, makes you feel better as well. It benefits both those who receive it and those who share it.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~ Dalai Lama

Compassion: Meaning, benefits and how to be compassionateCompassion: Meaning, benefits and how to be compassionate

Compassion Definition

Compassion meaning in dictionary goes like this - "sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others". If you ask me,"What is compassion?" In simple words it can be defined as emotion or feeling that arises when you are confronted with another's suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering. Compassion is having sensitivity and an emotional aspect to suffering of others.

Many people use empathy as compassion synonym. But, both are not same. Compassion is a step ahead to empathy. Empathy is putting yourself in other persons shoes in a given situation. It is basically an ability to understand the perspective and feel the emotions of another person. Whereas, compassion is a step ahead; in this, those feelings and thoughts also include the desire to help. Compassion has an added element of having a desire to reduce the suffering of another person. Compassionate people go beyond mere feelings and do something to help or relieve the sufferings of other person.

Practicing compassion has several benefits. By showing compassion a person not only helps the other person but in essence helps themselves as well. Here are some of the most exciting proven benefits

"Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion." ~ Buddha

Compassion: Meaning, benefits and how to be compassionateCompassion: Meaning, benefits and how to be compassionate

The virtue of compassion is universally valued. Everyone wants to live with a wisdom and compassion. But when it comes to live a compassionate life, it's not that easy. Here are the most important tips and strategies to cultivate compassion.

Contemplation of Past Sufferings

Think about your past adverse life experiences, sufferings and pains. Your toughest times in your life, when there was no ray of hope and you were looking towards others to give your life a breath. This helps to create more sensitivity and awareness towards sufferings of others. This augments sympathy, an important aspect for being a compassionate person. Also think about the people, who came out of blues and alleviated your sufferings. Recall the times when you've felt comforted by them. Contemplation of past adverse life experiences serves as essential ground work for compassionate action. Research says it can help us to feel more compassionate toward others.


Practice empathy towards people you interact on day to day basis. Be it your family members, neighbors, colleagues or even an unknown customer you meet at workplace. One of the most important step in cultivating compassion is to develop empathy for other people. While communicating with them, instead of mere listening, truly get behind their eyeballs and discover what they are thinking. Notice their facial expressions and body language. Learn to read the unsaid portion in between the lines. You must show empathy and identify with their perspectives.

Acts of Kindness

Kindness is an act of trying to help others in their difficult situations. It's an integral part of compassion. When you practice compassion; first through empathy you understand the pain and sufferings of others. Second, you feel the pain and suffering of others. Third, you take an action to help them and alleviate the pain or sufferings. Here third part taking an action is kindness. When you practice acts of kindness on day to day basis, your compassionate quality get strengthen naturally. Kindness and consideration for those around you will ultimately give you lasting happiness as well as personal, professional and social respect.

Compassion: Meaning, benefits and how to be compassionateCompassion: Meaning, benefits and how to be compassionate

The Golden Rule

Do you remember my CHRISTMAS special post on " Life lessons to learn from Jesus Christ" ? There I talked about Christmas Lesson #1: The Golden Rule. The"Golden Rule" of life is based on the principle Jesus Christ taught in Matthew 7:12. This verse is considered to be a summation of the entire sermon. This is all the life lessons from Jesus combined. The Golden Rule is - "Treat others as you would want to be treated"

When you look deeper into this teaching of Christianity, compassion seems to be built on this golden rule only. Act on this golden rule and you are on the way to imbibe compassion automatically. If you treat others like how you want to be treated you will be showing exemplary compassion.

Practice Compassion Meditation

We all know the benefits of general meditation, but meditating specifically on compassion helps to become more compassionate person. Compassion meditation , also known as "loving-kindness" meditation are the practices, mostly derived out of traditional Buddhist practices. Compassion Meditation focuses awareness upon alleviation of the suffering of all sentient beings. In this form of meditation you focus your thoughts on wishing well-being for others. Your brains can be rewired over time to be more compassionate through compassion meditation.

Well that's all from my side, I would like to end this article with this quote

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." ~ Dalai Lama

Over to you now. Please share your experiences and views on compassionate life in the comment section below. I and the other readers will love to learn from your experiences.

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