The Road to Recovery and New Beginnings. Part 4: Compassion and Empathy-You feel me?

 

A Knights Of Awakening radio and blog series

Hosted by Justin Bane

Listen to the show here!

It’s no coincidence that I choose Compassion to be the 4th installment in the series. I wrote a couple of years ago, that Compassion is not just a “feeling” we have towards others. If practiced and cultivated, it goes far beyond just an emotional response to an outside influence. If understood completely, Compassion becomes a state of Being. You may find a few instances where I borrow from that original piece, but for me it is still relevant to this day and relevant to this series.

Compassion such a powerful word for some. For others, just a fancy buzz word that we like to throw around to show others how much we know, how much we “care” for others, to show how much we “belong” to a certain philosophy or group. Sure most people would argue that everyone knows what compassion is, but to those who really know what the word means, do we really know what it is? Do we take Compassion one step further from our minds and put it into action wisely? Or is it yet another just another fancy buzz word on the parchment of some one’s philosophy? Understanding that Compassion is not something that can be applied like a blanket to all situations, Compassion is a very difficult state to be in all of the time.

Many of you who have been around for awhile can relate to what I am talking about. We see people opening up fly by night “academies” and teaching and preaching terms like “Compassion”, but it often times feels like they are just talking about it because they think it sounds cool or they are just trying to fit in to the latest and greatest path or philosophy. I don’t want you to think that I am hating on these folks, I am pointing this out because these are the people that we need to take under our wings and help them understand that Compassion, when cultivated and forged, can be a powerful weapon in the arsenal.

For most people, I would argue that they fit into the Websters dictionary (dictionary.com) definition of Compassion; “A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” This is the normal emotional response that I think most people have when they encounter a situation where this applies.

As an emotional response, Compassion can not be used as a bandage for all of the horrible things we may encounter in our daily lives. There are circumstances where this type of Compassion is helpful and useful, but when we use this type of Compassion as a blanket for all of the worlds problems, we do so at the risk of making things worse for others, and putting ourselves at risk as well. When we transcend beyond the emotional response, Compassion becomes a state of Being rather than just a knee jerk reaction to a situation.

I would like to take the word and meaning of Compassion one step further. For a Knight, the word Compassion does not just mean to help others through the toughest times in their lives, the word Compassion means for us, an undying Love and Respect for others. To be able to treat others in the highest regard, not for any other reason other than our Compassion for them, for all things. Understanding that to have Compassion, is to have the highest of Respect for Life. Compassion is a powerful weapon and tool, and very good attitude to have when dealing with the world and all of those who share it with us. It does not mean that you have to give your last dollar away and it certainly does not mean that we have to all join the peace Corps.

“So what you are saying is that we should only feel Compassion towards others and not act on that feeling?” No, that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is this, Compassion as an emotional response, cannot be applied to every situation that we will encounter in our lives. Matter of fact, if you do blindly apply Compassion as an emotional response to every situation in your life, you will find your self suffering at some point and also finding yourself in a position to where you are now no longer able to help anyone. What we should strive for and develop is a Compassionate state of Being. That state of Being where we understand and respect others and the things that bring us together, the common threads that hold us all together and not so much on what makes us different from each other.

In the Video/Spoken portion of this topic, I will share a few ways that we can develop a deeper understanding of Compassion. We will talk about how to work towards achieving a Compassionate state of Being. We will discuss how Empathy fits into the equation of transcending into a Compassionate state of Being.

Thanks for reading and listening to the Spoken portion of this series! I look forward to your personal stories and comments on the topic. Stay frosty Knights, until next time………

 

Awaken the Knight Within!

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