The Gift of Compassion

31 Days of Speaking Life

Simply sharing these beautiful words today from Henri Nouwen:

Compassion is something other than pity. Pity suggests distance, even a certain condescension. Compassion means to become close to the one who suffers. But we can come close to another person only when we are willing to become vulnerable ourselves.

A compassionate person says: “I am your brother; I am your sister; I am human, fragile, and mortal, just like you. I am not scandalized by your tears, nor afraid of your pain. I too have wept. I too have felt pain.”

We can be with the other only when the other ceases to be “other” and becomes like us.

This, perhaps, is the main reason that we sometimes find it easier to show pity than compassion: the suffering person calls us to become aware of our own suffering.

How can I respond to someone’s loneliness unless I am in…

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One Response to The Gift of Compassion

  1. Thank you, Andrea, for sharing this post and the letter to my daughter. I’m happy to get to know your blog and I look forward to discovering new friends and fellow bloggers here. Happy& blessed New Year to you!


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