In light of recent news of the US leaving the Paris Climate Agreement, compassion towards each other and our environment is more important now than ever. In order to live a compassionate life, one must change the way they think. Look at the world around you through rose-colored glasses. Feel the gratitude circulate like blood, feel it in your fingers.
The definition of compassion is as follows, “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.”
Let us change this a little bit. Compassion can be about suffering, but change the way you think about it. It’s about acknowledging the human in everyone, including you. Living compassionately means not only keeping in mind the people and world around you, but also taking care of yourself and not putting others above yourself.
Having compassion for yourself and knowing how to take care and be your best self is the foundation of living a compassionate life. There’s actually and entire concept called ‘Self-Compassion’. Which is the principle that you don’t ridicule and judge your friends harshly when they make mistakes, so why would you treat yourself that way? It’s about being fully aware of yourself and your body and the things that you want and need.
Having compassion towards others is the next piece in the compassionate life puzzle. Once you learn to have compassion for yourself and take care of yourself with patience and forgiveness, you can then expand the compassion you have for yourself to include others around you.
A study done in 2013 titled “Compassion fade and the challenge of environmental conservation” examined the issue of ‘Compassion Fade’ in the environmental genre.
Compassion Fade is a phenomenon where, people will have compassion and take action against an issue if the issue affects one person, but when that issue expands to three, five or even millions, the amount the care and are willing to contribute actually decreases.
Compassion fade could create serious problems for the future of us and our planet because,
“–it suggests that confronting large-scale humanitarian and (perhaps) environmental crises—from mass starvation to climate change—may not only involve overcoming political and economic hurdles but also insidious psychological ones as well”
This means that because people have a hard time feeling compassion for larger issues, it may be more difficult to solve global environmental issues that will affect all of us in some way.
The study goes on to mention that, those that are non-environmentalist or less engaged with the environmental issues are more likely to experience compassion fade.
Practicing compassion towards others and our planet leads to developing a sustainable mindset with empathy and understanding for our environmental needs.
Check out 7 Powerful Ways to Live a Highly Compassionate Life for some tips on how to live compassionately.
Spreading compassion is more important now than ever. For each other, our planet, our future and ourselves. What are some of the ways you live compassionately?