Feel The Right Thing!

Compassion

I have been hearing a lot recently about compassion and kindness.

Compassion is the desire to reduce suffering and kindness is the desire to increase wellbeing. Both of these come in self-forms (self-compassion, kindness to self) as well as being directed towards others.

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It seems to me that these are both important elements of the moral purpose that is emerging in education to reflect wished-for – and some perceivable - changes in society more generally.

During any period of change suffering will occur. And suffering has two components, actual pain (physical or psychological) plus resistance to it (as opposed to acceptance).

It is these people who ought to be triggering our greatest compassion. But do they?

In my own experience – more in the past than today, thankfully – I would not have had great compassion for those who resisted inevitable changes. I would see, and judge them on, their resistance but not appreciate the suffering that was taking place, let alone go out of my way to alleviate it for its own sake.

Seeing this distinction now – and feeling for the suffering I have neglected in the past - I realise that I have learned, my own behaviour has changed, and the world IS moving in a good direction.

John Corrigan