Compassion is such a beautiful thing, without it, I don’t think humanity can survive. I think it’s what shows us that everything is connected and we are all interdependent with each other and everything else. It shows us that we can relate to the people and the things around us and somehow and someway, we can feel the way they feel and share what they have. It’s the feeling that we get when we see a homeless person on the street, it’s that gut feel in our stomach when we see a person cry, it’s that moving feeling that we get when we see someone in need.
But like most things, I think a lot of people abuse compassion too much. I think there’s a huge difference between compassion and tolerance which to most people sometimes becomes similar. To me, these two things are the exact opposite because compassion shows concern while tolerance exhibits indifference.
I think we should always have compassion towards everybody, we should show no prejudice in people we have compassion for. Good or bad, young and old, rich or poor, compassion towards a person should transcend to anything and everything. It should apply to the basic concept that we are all just people, going through some things and we need to move pass and conquer the difficulties in our lives. But sometimes through the course of time, compassion turns into tolerance of dependence, and in my opinion, you can’t say you’re compassionate if you tolerate someone’s dependence.
I mean, given, someone is going through a hard time, but there’s only so much crying, moping and groaning a person can do before they need to stand up and realize that they have to get over themselves. And I know people heal in different time spans, but there’s a huge difference between the sense of whining now and getting back on your feet in contrast to just plain whining.
I will always have compassion towards those who are in difficult situations who are willing to take themselves out. I could support that person for months or years if I know that they are fighting for themselves. But I can never stand next to a person, lend a shoulder and give kind words to someone who doesn’t want to change their situation and blame other people for their predicament. As they say, you have to be cruel to be kind. I think that’s the cliché most people use in relation to compassion. And I agree with that completely.
It’s pretty hard to help people who won’t help themselves. You can only help a person up to a certain degree, like giving them advice, or expressing your point of view and pointing out the things they missed out. But other than that, there’s nothing more you can do. You can’t persuade them to do the things you think are right, not just because you may be wrong, but because the choice isn’t for you to make. People should live their own lives, making their own decisions, making their own mistakes, taking responsibility and learning from their own experience. That is their inherent right. We can only give our opinion and point them in the direction that we think is best for them, but that’s all we should do.
You’re not helping people if you let them depend on you ALL THE TIME. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be dependable, what I mean is that you’ll be there through the good and the bad times but you will not tolerate complete codependence. They say never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it. I mean, you don’t have to hold their hand and wipe their tears and pat their backs to show compassion, compassion comes from understanding the situation and showing a person your concern. That’s it. Compassion springs from concern and understanding not presence, and that means that sometimes you have to let them go.