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Compassion vs Suffering

From few days, I have been reading and researching Dalai Lama work and his way of life, it is very interesting to know that kindness and compassion are two very important aspect of his life and he really ask people to focus on these two factors to have a happy life

He once said Compassion is necessity not Luxury . So what is really compassion? It is the response to the suffering of others that motivates desires to help. In English compassion meaning is “to suffer together with”.  “Com” is Latin prefix means “with” and patient and passion as past participle means “suffer”. Compassion is considered in almost all the major religious traditions as among the greatest of virtues.

Compassion is characterised as feeling others person pain as your own, being empathic is another word to explain compassion. From the perspective of evolutionary psychology, Compassion can be viewed as a distinct emotional state, which can be differentiated from other emotion such as sadness or love. A complete absence of compassion may require ignoring or disapproving identification with other people or groups.

Suffering can be define as a state of undergoing pain, distress or hardship, one of  personality psychology research indicates that people are inherently different and distinct from one another, which should lead to the conclusion that human suffering is always individual and unique to them. Suffering can result from psychological, social, and physical trauma. It appears to happen in acute forms as often as chronically. It is not right to say that a person is suffering due to the lonely nature as this is not suffering as people might consider this as suffering as well but it just a state of mind that a person like to be alone. We can overcome our suffering our suffering when we decide to ask for help to others than compassion comes and one finds a person who can feel the same and willing to help.

Compassion is recognized through identifying with other people, the knowledge of human behaviour, the perception of suffering, transfer of feelings, knowledge of goal and purpose changes in sufferers, and the absence of the sufferer from a group. Compassion can also be seen as feeling of kindness and forgiveness.   

So let’s examine how different religion describe compassion. In Hinduism Compassion is that state when one sees all living beings as part of one’s own self, and when everyone’s suffering is seen as one’s own suffering. Compassion to all living beings, including to those who are strangers and those who are related.  In the Jewish traditionGod is the Compassionate and is invoked as the Father of Compassion, Feeling sorrow and pity for one’s distress and creating a desire to relieve it. Compassion in Buddhism is to relieve the suffering of all living beings everywhere. The Dalai Lama has said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. In Christianity comfort is describe as :“God is compassionate to us in our suffering so that we become compassionate to others in their suffering. In Islam Compassion and mercy are God Attributes (Rehman and Rahim: the most merciful and most compassionate). Islam teaches compassion as:  Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate”.

All the religion define and describe compassion in same way, which is wishing that others be free from suffering, a wish to be extended without limits to all living beings.  Compassion arises by entering into the subjectivity of others, by sharing their interiority in a deep and total way. It springs up by considering that all beings, like ourselves, wish to be free from suffering, yet despite their wishes continue to be harassed by painfearsorrow, and other forms of distress.

Being compassionate does not cost you any money but it can give someone a smile and happiness and feeling that there is a person in this big selfish world who understands his/her feeling. So people are compassionate to others. It does not really matter which religion you from but your kind words can make a big difference in someone else life.

Compassion, empathy, feelings, kindness, religions, suffering

Rafia Ajaz

Je suis la correspondante de FP à Londres. J’aime écrire (en anglais uniquement) sur les sujets relatifs à l’esprit et au corps. Diplômée en médecine alternative, je propose aussi des soins de bien-être et de guérison.