If someone shows kindness, caring and a willingness to help others they are showing compassion.

Compassion comes from a Latin word meaning “co-suffering.” When we show compassion, we respond and share in the suffering of others.

The definition of compassion is having a sympathetic concern for the suffering of others. Compassion is a positive emotion that has a lot to do with being thoughtful and decent toward other people in our lives. It is responding to others with understanding, patience and kindness.

It can actually be thought of as more of an action than an emotion. It makes us do things for others to help them and make their situation better.

When we are compassionate, we understand what others are going through, we empathize with them, and we show them that we love and care for them. We selflessly want to do things to help them. Compassion has a value of altruism in it because it does not want or expect anything in return. It is a selfless virtue. Three of the most important places to show compassion in our community include work, school, and home.

In the workplace, compassion is an important aspect of the entire work environment. Being compassionate at work can help one’s career to grow and flourish.

Coworkers will be much less stressed and will be more satisfied with their job. They will not only enjoy being around us, but we will enjoy being around them.

When our coworkers are less stressed and happier, it will transfer through the entire office. Knowing that our coworkers care about our problems and stresses helps us get through the day. Focusing on compassion at work promotes healthy interpersonal relationships. Showing compassion and doing acts of kindness at work reduces anxiety, promotes trust with others and reduces burnout.

When our workplace is a more enjoyable environment, that relaxed feeling will transfer to our home environment.

School is an important place to show compassion. Children and teenagers are under so much stress these days. The world is much more difficult than it was in simpler times and children are exposed to a lot of pressure to perform.

Drug addiction, school violence and suicide are some of the sad results of all this pressure and stress. If we can teach young children to show compassion to their friends and fellow students, it will carry with them into their teenage years. Developing empathy in these young souls is important and teaches them to reflect, observe and think about their actions and how what they do or say affects others.

One way to teach compassion to children and youth includes walking the walk. Children might listen to our words, but you can bet they will observe our actions and watch what we do. Teaching compassion therefore begins with practicing compassion in our own lives. We must allow the children to be on the receiving end of compassion as much as possible. Showing compassion has the ability to impact the bullying crisis being experienced in today’s school systems. Fostering the value of compassion in young people is one of the best ways to prevent verbal, physical and emotional aggression from even taking root.

Teachers show a lot of compassion on a daily basis and have so much impact in their student’s lives, but they can’t do it all on their own. Showing tender loving compassionate care to someone in need of it can be highly impactful. I truly believe that compassion has the power to impact the world and the schools in a positive way.

At home, it is important to be compassionate to our parents, spouses, children, brothers and sisters. We all have so many stresses and problems in our daily lives and it is hard to not take all of that home with us.

As much as we might try to leave work at work, or school at school, our home and our family are the ones we are supposed to be able to trust with our personal problems and know that they will care about what we are going through.

Sometimes all we need is a listening ear of someone who will truly listen and care about the issue. We don’t always have to have the answer or even any advice. All we need to have is compassion.

Practicing compassion is definitely a value worth nurturing in our community. It improves our health, strengthens our immune system, lowers our blood pressure, improves our recovery time, reduces the chance of depression and extends our life.

If it does all that for us to show compassion just think what it does for others to receive compassion.

The value of compassion enables us to understand ourselves better and others better, and the more we understand others the more we will want to relieve their suffering.

Let’s all develop the ability to see things from someone else’s perspective and sympathize with their emotions. Let’s be compassionate this week.