This post is my part of the #1000Speak Compassion movement on social media today, February 20th, 2015. Over one thousand have already agreed to blog about, tweet about, and post on Facebook and elsewhere about compassion, highlighting the need for more of it in today’s world. Follow along or join in!
If you want others to be happy,
If you want to be happy,
– Dalai Lama
Preparing for this post, which I agreed to over a month ago, thanks to my fellow blogger, Jessica Scott, I have spent a lot of time reading quotes about compassion and kindness. The quote above is one of my favorites because I felt it captured the spirit of this movement to highlight the need for compassion in this world. Some may suggest that practicing compassion for our own benefit might be a selfish excuse for what should be a selfless act. Perhaps, but I think not.
For one thing, I don’t believe it is so bad to take care of ourselves, in fact, I feel some of us could benefit from treating our own selves with compassion. It’s okay to say “I need this in order to be happier” sometimes. It’s okay to nurture ourselves and not just others. It’s okay to acknowledge that we need to be kinder to ourselves. To do so is a big step toward brightening this world, because if we can’t love and take care of ourselves, we won’t be able to properly love and take care of others.
Also, though, practicing compassion couldn’t ever be entirely selfish, even if the goal was to simply make yourself happier. Looking for ways to share yourself with others, to help others, to understand others better, or to be kind in any way can increase your own joy while increasing the joy of another.
Even the smallest act can make a difference, maybe even causing a ripple effect, the extent of which you may never know.
I recently participated in another Twitter campaign for practicing Acts of Goodwill. Joining on this particular day was almost entirely about me having fun. It made me smile that day. I paid for someone’s meal in the drive through behind me. I gave money to a charity. I made my husband’s favorite type of dinner. Will any of these little acts make a big difference? Most likely no, but I felt good all day for the little things I did. But even though I really did those things for me, the person in line behind me hopefully had a small reason to smile. Some child in some community in another part of the world may have access to water in part because of the small amount of money I shared. My husband hopefully was reminded that I love him and like to make him happy, even in small ways. So, selfish or not, practicing giving and caring for others helped someone, while also making me happy.
And don’t we, all of us, need a bit more happiness? I would argue that we do. So spread a spirit of compassion! Practice random acts of kindness! Nurture others and yourself, too! Increase others’ happiness and your own in the process. 😃
Below are a few of my other favorite quotes on compassion and kindness that I’ve seen this last month or so.
Thanks for reading!
Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.
– Henry James
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.
– Dalai Lama
By compassion we make others’ misery our own, and so, by relieving them, we relieve ourselves also.
– Sir Thomas Browne
Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.
– Dalai Lama
And in a recent episode of Downton Abbey ( which is a new addiction ), the Dowager Countess of Grantham says to her granddaughter, Lady Mary Crawley (who was being rather heartless to a grieving sister):
“My dear. A lack of compassion can be as vulgar as an excess of tears.”