International Day of Compassion

Posted by on May 15, 2011 in Day to Day | 8 comments

Patch Adams“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.“
Lao Tzu

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.)

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  1. SimplyDi, thank you for posting this and shedding important light on the differences between sympathy, empathy and compassion. Your own light shines through your heart-felt words. Truly. Thank you. Tony

  2. OMG thank you for sharing this video. It is unbelievable. Thank you!!!!

  3. Tony,
    Thank you for the kinds words, and most importantly, for creating a platform that allows so many to unite to create awareness and positive change. I most appreciate that you do it by simply being you. 😉

  4. SimplyDi, this is one of the most touching videos I have ever seen. Patch had tears, I had tear and your message of compassion shines like a bright light. Thank you for all you have done in hospice care, truly one of the most compassionate callings in this world. You make a difference in this world, and today, you have touched my heart greatly.

  5. Cher,
    Thank you so much stopping by and watching the video, I’m glad you found it touching as well. The thanks really belongs to people like Dr. Patch Adams who continually inspire us to think and see beyond ourselves. Even ouside of his purpose, he continues to bring us together, and touch each other’s hearts, Thank you

  6. Dang!! This just made me cry (not an easy task), you have a beautiful page. I am still learning all of this blogging stuff but would love to link to your page someday (when I learn how…ha ha). You are a source of inspiration in my life, thank you.

  7. Cindy, I hope it was tears in a good way. 😉 With blogging, we’ve all gone through the learning curve and find new ones along the way – keeps life interesting. Please feel free to reach out any time, I’ll be happy to help.