1. What is compassion? Why is it an important human value? Discuss.
करुणा क्या है? यह एक महत्वपूर्ण मानवीय मूल्य क्यों है? चर्चा करें।
Broadly defined, compassion is a sense of concern that arises when we are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to see that suffering relieved. At its core, compassion is a response to the inevitable reality of our human condition—our experience of pain and sorrow.
Importance of compassion as a human value:
- Action based empathy: Compassion offers the possibility of responding to suffering with understanding, patience, and kindness rather than, say, fear and repulsion. It is a readiness to help or to want to do something ourselves about another person’s situation.
Example: Mother Theresa has often been referred to as an embodiment of compassion. Her selfless work for the poor and destitute till date is inspiring and spoken of.
- Promotes fraternity and harmony among all: A needy would always be happy to get help. It would not only help him face the situation but will generate a blissful feeling of being noticed and cared by others.
- Holistic mental health: Compassion allows oneself to have a feeling of self-satisfaction and self-contentment of helping others whether an animal, human or even a plant. Such a feeling will help reduce stress, improve mental and physical health. Thus a person would naturally feel happy and will contribute to the society efficiently with a healthy mind-set.
- Self-actualization and societal growth: When such a society evolves having compassion for others and helps others in need, each individual is taken care of by the society and in turn he also helps the society.
- Strong social capital: Strongly integrated social capital grows with a co-operative and co-existing ecosystem, resulting in reduced toxic or criminal outbreaks and instances.
Example: Popularly known as ‘Collector Bro’, a civil servant from Kozhikode started the ‘Compassionate Kozhikode’ and ‘Compassionate Keralam’, winning the trust and volunteer help from the locals to successfully clean ponds, feed the hungry, help and improving lives after the recent floods and involving youth in the betterment of the society.
Slight downside: Compassion sometimes is said to lead to a guilt-induced decision making. Many a times, people involved in compassionate deeds find themselves feeling negative and less hopeful of their being. However, recently scientists have found that compassion as a virtue releases happy hormones in the brain resulting in an efficient and positive outcome.
His Holiness, The Dalai Lama in his teachings said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Rightly so, compassion almost always leads to an affirmative result and is of paramount importance to each and every one.