Heerlen, 1st of May 2015
"The essence of compassion"
To me compassion means more than only sympathy or showing empathy. Not to say that this is not important – on the contrary. It is very easy to not show sympathy and to hide your empathy beneath the surface. And I fear that we – myself included – do this too often. Maybe we do this more often, because the bombardments of television images and social media messages that report the trials and tribulations of people that are often far away, quickly becomes too much for us to handle. Too much, in the sense that their suffering exceeds our comprehension. Too much that leads to a dulling of our empathic feelings. In times that it is precisely compassion that is needed, I have the feelings that we let that compassion evaporate.
But compassion is more that this. When thinking about compassion I literally think about ‘with passion’ – a way of acting with conviction that gives you the right to exist and a devotion that allows you to reach true meaning. What is action without compassion? What is empathy without conviction? What if life without devotion?
I also explain compassion ‘in a Rotterdam manner’: your own compass that is the intuitive embodiment of the direction that you want to, that you perhaps have to follow. The moral compass that points you in a certain direction. No route planner, but a direction. A direction that you find naturally, because you recognise the value on a deeper level of consciousness.
These are these three interpretations that for me form the essence of compassion: empathy, devotion and moral direction.
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Lars Moratis: The essence of compassion