Compassion is defined as: “sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it”. I thought I had compassion for all people, and I was wrong. A few weeks ago, I was at a family anniversary party that happened to be at a casino. You see, I personally don’t like casinos. I think it’s because I don’t think it’s fun to gamble my hard-earned money away, ha! However, since it was a family event, I went. During the event, my grandfather really wanted me to go with him to play the slots. Since I love my grandpa very much, I went and played with him and my mother. Even though I love my mom and grandfather a lot, I was slightly annoyed while playing (remember, I don’t like gambling), but put on a smile anyway.
We played for a little bit, and I lost my five dollars….
Here’s what was interesting though… As we were leaving the casino floor, I started having these negative thoughts. The thoughts in my head were very judgmental and negative. They were telling me that, “these people that play in the casino all the time are pitiful”, “how can people smoke this much”, and “this is the devil’s playhouse”… they were very nasty and kind of shook me a bit. However, right as I was getting upset and BELIEVING these thoughts… I heard something else. It was a still small and calm voice that said, “show compassion to My people”. I was stunned. “Show compassion to My people”. I was almost in tears. I was judging these people! I didn’t know these people! I didn’t know their story! Once I heard that still small voice, my WHOLE viewpoint changed. I then saw people that were hurting and needed a hug, I saw people celebrating and enjoying life, I saw people that seemed like they just needed something more. When my viewpoint changed, my facial expression changed. I was more inviting. I smiled at everyone. I said hello, to strangers. I silently prayed for people. I showed compassion and love, instead of judgement and hate.
This experience made me really think. How many times do we have false judgments about people because they are different than us OR we just think we are better than them? Sometimes we have to check ourselves…
So, to help you, here are three ways we can show compassion to all people:
Before you judge, get to know someone’s story. You may have more in common with them than you think. If the first person you talk to doesn’t want to talk, that’s ok, try again. Practice makes perfect.
Get to know yourself and see what judgments you have about people. You can then get rid of those judgments and identify when they may be triggered.
Get out of your comfort zone. Experience new things, so you can experience different types of people.
We must show compassion for others. Strangers, family, friends, everyone! It’s an act that can change this world. It only takes one person to say, “I’m going to show compassion to all people”, to change the world. Start today!!
What are some other ways you believe you can show compassion for people?