Every major religion gives compassion a high place as a virtue in human nature. The Dalai Lama said “compassion is a necessity, not a luxury, and that without it humanity cannot survive.” This moves it from a divine attribute to a practical human necessity for the survival of humanity. Compassion is to be desired and we will examine the reasons.
Compassion is an emotion similar to love; however, it is uniquely related to suffering. Compassion is the feeling of empathy we have toward the suffering of others, and the desire to help.
Within compassion, there is an aspect of quantity and quality. It can be seen to be deep and passionate and motivate vigorous action. The root of the word compassion is “co suffering”, hence, it co shares the suffering, and motivates action to help.
Compassion is desirable as a key motivator of people. In particular, it motivates them not only to feel the pain of those suffering, but also drives their motivation to do something to alleviate it.
It identifies with others in an empathetic way. This is the opposite reaction to people that those who cause suffering have. They are callous, ruthless and cruel. The compassionate person will respond to the humanity of others, not their ethnicity or religion. The person motivated with compassion will seek to help the suffering. This is the opposite of the attitude that causes war, terrorism, human trafficking, drug dealing and such evils, which cause suffering to many. A lack of compassion can lead to such atrocities as the Nazi Holocaust, the Bosnian Serb ethnic cleansing, and the Rwanda genocide. An individual who cannot empathize with the suffering of another human being will not only ignore the suffering of others, but may even contribute to it. Continue reading Expository Essay on Compassion