Definitions: (1) possessing sympathetic consciousness of the distress of others; (2) demonstrating a desire to alleviate suffering; (3) a disposition to pity; inclined to show mercy

Synonyms: clement, gracious, indulgent, kind, soft, tender

Compatible Qualities: empathetic, pity, sympathetic, understanding

Proverb: If you want to help others, practice compassion; if you want to help yourself, practice compassion. — Buddhist

• You should have compassion on each other and leave judgment to God. — Saint Catherine of Siena [born Caterina Benincasa] (1347–1380) The Dialogue of the Seraphic Virgin

• Every human being has the potential for compassion. I have chosen to pay more attention to it. — Tenzing Gyatso [The Dalai Lama] (1935 – ) upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize

• I regard it as the foremost task of education to ensure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and above all, compassion. — Kurt Hahn (1886-1974) German Educator and Founder of Outward Bound

• A human being is a part of the whole called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He [she] experiences the self, thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of (the personal) consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. — Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-born Theoretical Physicist

• I know that most … can seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as obliges them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed,… of which they are proud, which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives. — Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) Russian Writer
Note: In your struggle to help others “see the light,” it is important to understand the hold the past has on all of us; what we have experienced and fought for is often fused with destiny. Be sensitive to the truth contained in different beliefs.

Mythological Figure: Androcles was a Roman slave (2nd Century ad) who while seeking freedom had removed a thorn from a lion’s paw. When he was caught, he was doomed to fight a lion that turned out to be the befriended animal. Since the lion fawned on him, he was freed.