On this episode of The Wednesday Call, Andy Albright and his co-host dish about compassion and how it matters to members of The Alliance.
Compassion is a matter of relieving other people of their pain. This effort comes from a concern for the well-being of others.
In the classical teachings of the Buddhist tradition compassion is defined as the heart that trembles in the face of suffering. It is aspired as the noblest quality of the human heart even for those who have intentionally transgressed. Compassion is the acknowledgement that not all pain can be fixed or solved but all suffering is made more approachable in a landscape of compassion. Above all, compassion is the capacity to open to the reality of suffering and to aspire to its healing. Therefore, it is a response to a specific subjective feeling which tags on the heart strong of forgiveness.
Compassion comes into the English language by way of the Latin root “passio” which means to suffer, paired with the Latin prefix “com” meaning together – to suffer together.
Noticing: It is the proactive of being mindful. Whenever we do this with another’s problems, we align ourselves with their pains and thereby give said pains credence. By giving someone or something credence, we are just one small step away from believing it to be true. Compassion is a way of giving credit to another’s thought. The Latin root word “cred” means “believe.” However, consciously or unconsciously, with every interaction, we are all making the choice to build our compassion credit or empty it out. We are the keepers of our own compassion accounts. If someone drains their account dry, we aren’t obligated to keep offering them credit.
“Kindness always starts with noticing the needs and hurts of others.” – Rick Warren
Faith vs. Conviction
Many people use the terms interchangeably when really they are two entirely different concepts. Faith requires not knowing for sure, in an empirical way that something is true. Conviction, on the other hand, requires the exact opposite. The word conviction comes from the verb, “to be convinced.” And in order to be convinced of something, there have to be observed facts from which the conviction has been derived. If I am dealing with someone who has faith that something is so, I tend to leave them to it. I’m simply not going to be able to persuade them of any other view, because their standard of proof is too low, and their deference barrier is too high. But if there is a point where someone’s belief is based on a conviction (an interpretation of facts), it inevitably permits the opportunity of being changed. However, convictions that cause people to say: “It’s the principle of the matter” are letting their beliefs interpret the facts instead of letting the facts create their beliefs. This twisted logic is what is called in popular culture today: “fake news.”
“Your faith can move mountains and your doubt can create them.” Derived from Matthew 17:20
“Now he understood that roads do divide, at the crossroads there is a choice, and blinding oneself to it is a form of choosing too.”
“The Untold Tale” by Eric Christian Hangaard
“Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.” Thomas Carlyle
“A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.” Daniel Webster
Connection through love: It is what we experience in any moment when we are with someone without our judgments about them or ourselves, love, therefore, is complete acceptance or is unconditional. Love doesn’t require anything in return. It is about connecting without expectations.
There are two definitions for real, genuine love:
1 – Love is when you choose to be at your best when the other person is not at their best (Never keeping score).
2 – Love is when what you want is never important. But what the other person needs and wants is always paramount (No norm of reciprocity).
Love is when one person believes in another person and shows it with: desire, warmth, and patience. What we feel is reflected in what we do.
3 Types of Love:
1 – Attraction/Eros: need-based kind of love (motivational/make money)
Desire (show) into Temptation (effect) for men (acknowledgment of the task) and women (connection with the task). The temptation or enticement of short-term goals over long-term goals.
2 – Affection/Agape: giving kind of love (emotional/make a difference)
Warm (show) into tenderness (effect) for men is stability in their self-worth and for women acceptance of their self-worth.
3 – Admiration/Philos: companionship kind of love (cognitive/have fun)
Patience (show) into tolerance (effect) of men is fairness of the exchange and for women decency in the exchange.
(Attraction) “The secret of attraction is to love yourself.” Deepak Chopra
(Affection) “Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.” C.S. Lewis
(Admiration) “The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring.” Carl Sandburg
Responding with sympathy:
Sympathy is a feeling of care and concern for someone, often someone close, accompanied by a wish to see them better or happier. This active desire to alleviate the suffering of another is when sympathy attaches itself to the concept of compassion. With this connection, sympathy sheds its’ partial attitude and becomes more willing to give without expectations of reciprocity.
“Tears are the silent language of grief.” Voltaire
Interdependence (together feeling)
1 – Spatial proximity (preferences)
In Group – identifies with similar beliefs vs. Out Group – does not identify with differing beliefs
2 – Similar experiences (relationships)
Primary Group – sharing with friends vs. Secondary Group – sharing with acquaintances
The blueprint for Compassion is Noticing (credence/credit) + Connecting (love/heart) + Responding (sympathy/comforting).
Noticing involves believing in something you feel is real. This is a battle between Faith/Assurance: accepting of something you can’t see vs. Conviction/Reliance: depending on something you can see.
Connecting deals with a strong sense of: attraction (money, temptation from desires), affection (make a difference and operate with tenderness from warmth) and admiration (Have fun and exercise tolerance from patience).
Responding is combining sympathy. Syn is a together feeling and Pathos is a Fellowship or feeling. Syn is a interdependence that deals with an attention to a subject due to spatial proximity and similar experiences. Pathos is a feeling of deservingness or a feeling that a person is in a state of need and not self-inflicted.