meaning of compassion

Updated: Jan 4

Throughout your life, you’ve probably heard the word compassion used to describe various people or acts. In many cases, the word compassion is thrown around by people who don’t completely understand the significance and true meaning of the word. At karuna, we are firm believers in compassion and its power to change not only individuals, but also entire communities. In today’s post, we will discuss the meaning behind the word compassion and why this word is so important.

what Is compassion?

Before you can start practicing compassion, it’s important to first understand the meaning behind the word. If you’ve ever looked at another person or animal that is suffering and you’ve felt overcome with the desire to help and relieve that suffering, that feeling is one of compassion. Compassion is the ability to recognize feelings of suffering in another, coupled with the desire to help. In most cases, compassion is mistaken for empathy or altruism, although, the three terms are related. Empathy is being able to take the perspective and emotions of another person to understand what they see or feel. Compassion takes empathy one step further and delivers that desire to take action and help another. Finally, altruism is the actual action that is prompted by compassion and empathy.

For example, if you are walking down the street and you see someone knock a child’s ice cream cone onto the ground, empathy will help you understand how sad that child is feeling at that moment because they won’t be able to enjoy their ice cream. Compassion gives you the idea that maybe you can do something to make the child feel better, and altruism is the action you take to buy the child a new ice cream cone without expecting anything in return.

why is compassion important?

Now that you have a better understanding of compassion, the next step is to learn why it is important in your life. Possibly the most important answer is because compassion is what keeps our society from falling apart. Imagine a world where compassion didn’t exist. People such as Mother Teresa or Marting King Jr. never would have made the huge impacts that they did, and people never would have selflessly sacrificed their lives in war. Compassion is what drives humans to do amazing things, not because it will benefit themselves, but because it will benefit humanity as a whole.

On a smaller level, but by no means less important, compassion is what helps people form lasting and meaningful relationships. In order to build a strong relationship with another person, it’s important that you have the ability to express concern and care for that person when they need it. That is where compassion and empathy come into play. Compassion and empathy help enable feelings of love and kindness towards another, which is how you start to build a relationship. Additionally, these traits also allow you to identify and relate to the other person, which can lead to a myriad of other good traits in a relationship.

unleash your compassion with karuna

At karuna, we’ve developed our unique community to help people just like you unleash the compassion inside so that we can better the world around us. We believe that by being compassionate towards others, you learn how to be compassionate to yourself, which can help you overcome anything from stress to childhood trauma. Come join us in the completely free reimagine happiness™ community, where you can become part of a vibrant network of karuna warriors and discover the transformational tools and resources we have waiting for you. It's time to start your personal happiness journey. See you there!

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