We have discussed in March the various aspects of renewal of the spirit. As we step into April, we will try and discuss some virtues that are perhaps essential for us to move us forward on our spiritual path.
What is a virtue? One definition of virtue is any action that demonstrates high moral standards. Wikipedia goes a step further and says
Virtue (Latin: virtus) is moral excellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.
One of the fundamental virtues, that defines us as humans is compassion. Again, Wikipedia says
Compassion is a virtue — one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy (for the suffering of others) are regarded as a part of love itself….
Compassion has its roots in pathos – with emphasis on awareness of the suffering of others. If we can develop and act with compassion, we can grow love. A lack of compassion is perhaps the root of apathy or selfishness, which leads us to operate from a place of disconnection with those around us.
As I was writing this article, my wife said from the other side of the room – did you see this article? A fifteen year old girl with cystic fibrosis had a double-lung transplant. Each parent donated a lung to their daughter – so she could breathe properly. Compassion at work!
It may seem that it would be in everyone’s nature to have a sense of compassion – for it is part of our fundamental humaneness. However, have you ever done or said something and realized later – that wasn’t very compassionate! Do you find that it is much easier for you to be compassionate to those around you – and not treat your own Self with compassion? Are there occasions where a lack of compassion may be necessary? How can we actively grow the virtue of compassion in our heart? What is the connection between compassion and service to others?
I invite you to join us in our weekly #SpiritChat discussion to discuss “The Spirit of Compassion”. Sunday, April 1st at 9am ET / 1pm GMT.
Bring your compassion with you!
Update: Transcript from the live chat on ‘Spirit of Compassion’ is at http://bit.ly/sc-tr-0401
Q1. What feelings does the word compassion invoke in you? Q2. What is the source of our compassion? How do we connect to it? Q3. How does too much or too little compassion affect us and those around us? Q4. What are some obstacles to us expressing, exercising compassion? Q5. Why is compassion important to spiritual growth? Q6. What is the connection between compassion and service? healing? Q7. Please share a person or organization - online or offline - that demonstrates a high degree of compassion. Takeaway Q8. How will you exercise more compassion in the week ahead? Towards yourself and others? #SpiritChat