Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Word of the Week: Compassion

By Zen_sheila @BeZensational

Word of the Week: Compassion

“My message is the practice of compassion, love and kindness.
These things are very useful in our daily life,
and also for the whole of human society these practices can be very important.”
~Dalai Lama

Word of the Week:  Compassion
Did you know that compassionate people produce 100% more of the hormone that counteracts aging?  They also produce less of the stress hormone (coritsol) — almost 25% less! When we practice compassion, we are therefore helping others and helping ourselves!

Sometimes we think in order to practice compassion we have to volunteer for something.  While volunteering is very compassionate and helpful — we can also be compassionate in aspects of every day life, in every day moments — and usually it’s not even something we actually think much about.

Compassion can be learned at any age, but it is learned through experience rather than being lectured.  Children learn it by watching parents:  if they hear a parent admit mistakes and say they are sorry… the child will learn to admit mistakes and say they are sorry;  if they watch a parent help someone in need… they will learn to offer assistance;  if they are taught to care for animals and pets… they too will show kindness to animals and pets.

When parents let their kids walk all over them without correcting their behavior, the child will not learn compassion.  When a child hears an adult talking about another person in a derogatory way, he will not learn empathy.  Kids pick up a lot of things – they are like sponges.  As adults we must be careful on how we treat others because impressionable minds are studying and learning from us.  How we talk to (or about) those we know (family, friends) as well as those we don’t know (strangers) can send a lot of cues to children.

Raising our kids to express respect, kindness, and compassion is deeply rooted in our own ability to display these traits.  You know what they say, “children learn what they live.”

Little ways to express compassion:

Listen.  (so simple!) Listening without offering advice is a great way to show compassion!
Sit with a friend who needs comfort.
Be kind to those less fortunate. (donate clothes, food, time)
Stick up for someone being picked on.
Forgive someone.
Put food out for the birds.
Show appreciation for someone or something.
Help someone carry their groceries.
Offer to run an errand for someone having a hectic day.

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