Monday, May 31, 2010

Open thought process: Kindness vs. Compassion

So is there a difference between being kind and being compassionate? Maybe let's take a look and see.

Compassion in my mind is the ability to feel for another, to recognize another person or creature as having feelings similar to your own. When being compassionate we strive to eliminate suffering, ease hard ship and let others know they are not alone.

Kindness on the other hand is about being aware what others want from the world in general and from us specifically. It is not about easing suffering that is present but instead about increasing happiness.

I think there is a greater call in our lives, or at least in my own to be kind rather than compassionate. Kindness can play out in small actions it can show our affections, brighten an already good day, or smooth out a social situation. An important difference between the two is that compassionate actions tend to come as a surprise, they are not expected; where kindness is and its absence can cause suffering.

Compassion tells us that the other is important and like us, Kindness works to bind us to the other in little ways every day.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.