Compassion and Why It Should Be a Part of Our Lives

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Giuditta Paci-O’Rourke Compassion and why it should be a part of our lives Compassion is a deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish of relieving it. We live in a world where compassion is not very common and it has become only a part of the New Agers marketing propaganda to get us to buy their books, T-shirts, mugs, stickers and expensive retreats that promise individuals a quick road to Nirvana. We have become so desensitized by media and so much information, that it is hard for people to try to cultivate compassion in their lives. I think compassion has to be exercised and experienced. It takes time, dedication, and intention. We don’t need to go anywhere or wear anything special to practice compassionate thoughts and actions, all we need to do is become aware of others’ pain and suffering. Wars, killing, sex, violence and drugs are all part of this world in which we live. All these things affect our daily thoughts and our society on the whole. It’s very difficult to cultivate compassion when we are constantly distracted by work, bills, school, etc. We go around cursing people out if they cut us off on the road, we get mad if the person at the restaurant messes up our take-out dinner, or we get frustrated when we have to wait too long in line. Those are just some examples of non-compassionate thoughts and actions. Now, imagine if we would practice compassion instead. We would be able to transcend our daily actions and thoughts towards others and understand that all we are seeking is happiness in one way or another. In our world, we tend to think of ourselves as separate from everything and everyone else. There is no sense of unity we find it difficult to relate to others’ pain and suffering. The most that people do is show sympathy for others which is not the same as compassion. Sympathy is the feeling of pity and

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