International Day of Compassion
This post is dedicated to Dr. Patch Adams, a man who is compassion in human form.
Empathy, Sympathy, and Compassion are often used interchangeably – although intertwined, they are not one and the same.
Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to an emotion, situation or circumstance. As an asthmatic, you could empathize with the physical and mental frustration another asthmatic feels during an attack. Sympathy would allow you to feel sorrow for another one’s loss, such as in death, or perhaps divorce. Compassion is where empathy and sympathy blend together in a way that compels you to DO something to alleviate that which caused the emotion.
In my own life, compassion has moved me to volunteer with hospice, as I know what it is like to watch someone you love die. It was not enough for me to feel empathy and sympathy for others, I felt the need to give back. I became a runner to raise funds to help find a cure for leukemia after losing a loved one and watching others battle. It has moved me to adopt rescue dogs because sympathy and empathy again were not enough for me. I felt a need to make a difference – something I believe many of us feel.
What is compassion moving you to do today? Please watch this powerful Patch Adams Video and allow it to inspire you. (*note, I cannot edit out the 14 second commercial as it is not my video – however the video is more than worth it.)