Compassion has been in a box for too long. It’s time to release it to be more and do more.
Box 1: Empathy, Kindness, and Altruism
I’m not against these things. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t show kindness and care for the others, or if our hearts didn’t feel some of the pain and suffering of those in need.
The problem is that it’s such a limiting view of compassion. Compassion means “to struggle with.” Compassion is much more than acts of kindness FOR another. It’s about inclusion, uplifting human dignity in ourselves and others. It’s much more than helping people in time of need. It’s about working together to leverage strengths and build capability for the long haul.
When we define compassion in this way, it’s easy to feel like we don’t measure up to the experts who practice mindfulness and self-love, forgive others and transcend their negative feelings, or do remarkable acts of charity.
You don’t have to be the Dali Lama to do compassion. You simply have to care enough about yourself and others to get in the trenches together to build something amazing.
Box 2: Tough Love
The philosophy goes like this; set high expectations and enforce boundaries because it builds character and you will thank me later. Most tough love I’ve experienced is much more tough than love. There’s a place for toughness in compassion. We need boundaries and principles and standards. But it needs to be balanced with affirmation and safety, as well as collaborative problem solving. Otherwise it’s easy to violate a person’s essential dignity in the name of “helping them.” Instead of being a hard-ass, be a role-model who is clear about what matters and believes in people, helping them find their own solutions.
Compassion believes that people are valuable, capable, and responsible. Expand your view and see what’s possible!
Enroll in The Compassion Mindset webinar today and learn the mindset, skillset, and formula for letting compassion out of the box!