Monday Meditation: The Virtue of Compassion

“Compassion is not a popular virtue.”

-Karen Armstrong

Of all the times to have compassion, it is when there is loss. However, compassion, even in situations where it is clearly called for, is not always the go-to response for support networks. Compassion may be seen as a weakness, as a capitulation to sadness, heartbreak, and vulnerability–none of which we are to display, let alone admit to feeling on occasion.

Grief is nothing but vulnerability and compassion should be freely given. No griever should have to ask a grief supporter for compassion; yet, sometimes we do. As counterproductive as it sounds, in situations where you, the griever, are not receiving compassion, be sure to extend compassion to others regardless. Anyone who cannot grant compassion to you in your time of need is struggling with pain and anguish that you know nothing about. They cannot give it to you, because they cannot give it to themselves.

Grievers and grief supporters alike, take the high road: give compassion freely and without condition to yourselves and those who need it (whether or not they behave as though they deserve it). Anyone struggling is in need of compassion. Anyone who is angry needs compassion. Anyone who behaves badly needs compassion. Every human needs compassion.

Do the unpopular thing. Be compassionate. To everyone.

Published by ancarroll

Alexandra N. Carroll is an author, grief advocate, crafter, mother, and partner. She writes on grief and self-care from her home in Vermont. Her forthcoming book concerns how to untangle life-after-loss through the creation of a strong self-care plan.

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