Cultivating Compassion –

Compassion is defined as the feeling of deep sorrow we experience when someone is struck by misfortune, but to feel compassion in our everyday lives is a little harder, writes Candida Baker

Whenever there is a disaster, natural or otherwise, in the world, it does a curious thing – it brings out the best in us. All of us stop for a moment, don’t we, and feel a mixture of gratitude that we and our loved ones are safe, and sorrow for those suffering from the earthquake, tsunami, bushfire, flood, hurricane – or most recently the tragedy in Paris.

It’s then that our natural compassion comes to the fore. And yet, curiously, compassion, the virtue of empathy for the suffering of others, is not necessarily as readily available to us at other times. In our ordinary, everyday lives it seems as if (on the face of it) we have less need of compassion than at those times of crisis, be they family, community, or world-wide.