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 Adjunct Professor at St. Michael's College in Vermont. She writes on grief and self-care from her home in Burlington. In her spare time, Alexandra crochets, reads, and explores.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: