In our harried, hectic lifestyles could it be that we have forgotten about the importance of compassion? The term itself denotes empathy – putting ourselves in another’s shoes. When we are moving as fast as humanly possible it is easy to forget to smile, listen attentively to another or possibly do something for another that will brighten their day. Even a short email passing on a good thought can be important. What does that take – one or two minutes? I’ll bet we could find that in even the busiest of our days. There is a saying that summarizes it best, ‘People don’t care how much you know (or do) until they know how much you care.’
Beyond the apparent benefit of practicing compassion to others it actually helps us as well. Studies have shown that when we demonstrate compassion our bodies produce 100% DHEA a hormone that counteracts the aging process and reduces by 23% the cortisol which is the stress hormone in our bodies. Regardless of the exact percentages the bottom line is that demonstrating compassion is good for our physical and emotional health.
The pace of which we live has never been faster and I am not suggesting that we add more to it. However, compassion is a matter of mindset not time. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the differences in others, that’s like hitting an ‘easy button’ in our mind. Training ourselves, however, to look past the differences in search of the commonalities is simply a behavioral approach that with practice we can get really good at doing. Eventually, we find that we recognize the common human need for acceptance, patience and even a listening ear as truly an important part of living. When we arrive at this place we then begin to enjoy life a bit more as we open up our ‘acceptance portals’ in our minds.
Slowly, but surely, we begin to smile more than frown and search for the positives rather than negatives in a situation or in other people. We exhale more deeply when we realize that we have arrived at a place of peace in our lives – a great place to be!
Leo Buscaglia, the noted psychologist once said, “Too often we under estimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Wouldn’t it be phenomenal if each of us decided to practice a little more compassion for a fellow traveler of the Universe – even starting with once a day? Imagine how we could actually change the world around us if we chose to demonstrate a little more positive regard for others.
Wouldn’t be wonderful to hear someone say that we made life a little better just be being in it? Something worth considering don’t you think?
Have a great few days!