Compassion, as defined by the Miriam Webster dictionary, is "the
sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to
In the words of Thomas Merton, "Compassion is the keen awareness of the
interdependence of all things." The Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you
would have done unto you", is based on the concept of compassion and
encourages us to recognize that we have the ability to alleviate pain and
suffering for others by being conscious of our choices in each moment.
Found as early as 1780 BCE in the Code of Hammurabi, the Ethic of
Reciprocity is one of the oldest and most widespread beliefs in the world.
Compassion is not simply pity or sympathy, it is actively being aware of
our choices in order to alleviate suffering for others.
"Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious
human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies
to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve
enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind
thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about
others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can." (The Dalai Lama)