Compassion is defined as the emotional response when we see suffering. It generates an authentic desire inside each of us to help. Decades of clinical research has shown that human suffering is often accompanied by beautiful acts of compassion by others, which we have observed throughout our lifetime.
Compassion is a natural instinct inside each of us which is essential for human survival. Without it, the survival and flourishing of our species would have been unlikely. A study examining the trait most highly valued in potential romantic partners suggests that both men and women agree that “kindness” is one of the most highly desirable traits.
Compassion also has tremendous benefits for both physical and mental health and overall well-being. Research by APS Ed Diener, a leading researcher in positive psychology, and APS Martin Seligman, a pioneer of the psychology of happiness and human flourishing, suggests that connecting with others in a meaningful way helps us enjoy better mental and physical health and speeds up recovery from disease; furthermore, research by Stephanie Brown, at Stony Brook University, and Sara Konrath, at the University of Michigan, has shown that it may even lengthen our life spans.
Something to Think About
Compassion and kindness can lead to more meaningful personal relationships, better physical and mental health, and overall well-being. So why would anyone NOT practice compassion and kindness?
Kick your compassion into high gear this week with a random act of kindness! Next, reach out to at least three past clients and three members of your friend or family group – just to see how they are and let them know you are thinking of them.
Words of Wisdom
You can be rich in spirit, kindness, love and all those things that you can’t put a dollar sign on. – Dolly Parton
A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal. – Steve Maraboli
Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. –Dalai Lama
There is a nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy, a grace in forgiveness. – John Connolly
Use your voice for kindness, use your ears for kindness, your arms for charity, your mind for truth, and your heart for love. – Anonymous