What Is Compassion And How To Make An Effort To Show Compassion

Updated on July 5, 2024

Compassion is a trait that many times gets forgotten even though that character trait is present in everyone. Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. Compassion is a human quality without which man is incomplete. Are you a compassionate person?

What does it mean to have compassion?

Compassion means to get involved in the sufferings of others. When you find people keep their distance from those who are suffering, compassion prompts you to act on their behalf and provide needed help.

What is the definition of Compassion in Dictionaries?

Different meaning are emphasized by each dictionary.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of compassion is the “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”

Oxford Learners Dictionaries defines compassion as “a strong feeling of sympathy for people or animals who are suffering and a desire to help them”

Merriam-Webster Dictionary mentions a “desire to alleviate” the distress of others, whereas the Oxford Learners Dictionary simply refers to the broad sympathetic feelings associated with compassion. It does not connect those feelings of sympathy and pity to any action.

A short story

A postman knocked on the door of a house and said, “please collect your letter”. A girl’s voice came from inside, ‘I am coming’. Since none came out even after 3/4 minutes the postman asked again, “Is there anyone in the house, take a letter, please collect the letters”. 

The girl’s voice came again, “postman sir, please drop the letter inside through the bottom of the door. I am coming.” Postman replied, “No, I am standing here because this is a registered letter on which your signature is required as proof of delivery”. After 6/7 minutes the door opened. 

The postman was furious for this delay and was going to yell at that girl. But he broke in as soon as the door opened because in front of him a disabled girl stood on crutches. The postman went quietly after obtaining her signature and  giving the letter to her.

After this, whenever the mail came for the girl, the postman gave a voice and stood at the door until the girl arrived.

One day the girl saw the postman barefoot. As Diwali was coming closer, the girl thought about what gift will give to the postman. One day when the postman left after delivering the post, the girl took a picture of the feet where the postman’s footprints were made in the soil, keeping paper on them. The next day she bought the shoes of that size through her maid servant.

On the next day of Diwali the postman asked for a reward from all the people in the street. And  he thought what reward to take from this girl, but since came in this area will surely meet her. The postman knocked on the door and a voice came from inside, who? “Postman” he replied. The girl brought a gift packet in her hand and said, Uncle, this is a diwali gift from me. The postman said, you are like a daughter to me, how can I accept a gift from you. The girl insisted and said, “please don’t deny my gift”. The postman said OK and took the packet. The girl said, uncle take this packet to home and open it there only. When he opened the packet at home, he was shocked because he found a pair of shoes in it. His eyes filled with tears of happiness.

The next day he reached the office and requested the postmaster to transfer him immediately. When the postmaster asked the reason, the postman told the whole story while he was holding the shoes on the table. With wet eyes and a stumbling voice he said that “after today I will not be able to go in that street. That disgusted girl gave shoes to my bare feet, but how can I give her feet?”

This short story is the best example of compassion.

Let us pray to the Almighty God that He may fill us with compassion and love so that we may become a tool to lessen the pain of others. In the time of crisis, none should think that he is alone, but he should feel that all humanity is with him.

Quote from the holy bible

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

Holy bible – 1 John 3:18, NIV

The meaning of compassion is to recognise and understand the sufferings of others who are in need of help and then take action to help them in whatever way possible. There is a relation between compassion and love and hence compassion embodies a tangible expression of love for those who are suffering.

Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another and themselves. Compassion is often regarded as having sensitivity, which is an emotional aspect to suffering. Though, when based on cerebral notions such as fairness, justice, and interdependence, it may be considered rational in nature and its application understood as an activity also based on sound judgment. There is also an aspect of equal dimension, such that an individual’s compassion is often given a property of “depth”, “vigor”, or “passion”. The etymology of “compassion” is Latin, meaning “co-suffering.” Compassion involves “feeling for another” and is a precursor to empathy, the “feeling as another” capacity for better person-centered acts of active compassion; in common parlance active compassion is the desire to alleviate another’s suffering.

Compassion involves allowing ourselves to be moved by suffering and experiencing the motivation to help alleviate and prevent it. An act of compassion is defined by its helpfulness. Qualities of compassion are patience and wisdom; kindness and perseverance; warmth and resolve. It is often, though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in the social context as altruism. Expression of compassion is prone to be hierarchical, paternalistic and controlling in responses. Difference between sympathy and compassion is that the former responds to suffering from sorrow and concern while the latter responds with warmth and care. Source: Wikipedia

What makes you a compassionate person?

To become compassionate you have to feel deeply for others as they face the sufferings associated with life. You should be compassionate not only through words by just telling someone that you care but also by being with them and help before they even ask for it.

10 Easy ways to make an effort to show compassion

Easy ways to make an effort to show compassion
Easy ways to make an effort to show compassion

The first word of each compose the character COMPASSION.

  1. Challenge yourself to keep smiling more and more
  2. Open the door of help to people who are in need
  3. Motivate others to overcome obstacles
  4. Practice different acts of kindness daily
  5. Allocate a few minutes to bond with others
  6. Say encouraging words to boost self-confidence
  7. Share a handshake or a hug
  8. Incorporate “THANK YOU” wherever needed
  9. Offer your help to people in need
  10. Nurture relationships through listening to others


Every day we meet many persons who are in need of the help of others. It is our responsibility and duty to help others. When you help others you can see the happiness on the face of the person who receives the help and that happiness make your mind happy. Our life in this world is short and we must have good qualities like positive attitude, compassion, love, kindness, empathy towards others. You may like to know How Helping Others Will Brighten Your Life?

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