Science has shown that there are certain kinds of events or circumstances that set off a compassion trigger in the brain. When this happens, we feel called to action. All religious, spiritual, and ethical traditions also place the principle of compassion at the heart of their teachings, calling us to not only treat all others with respect, justice, and equity, but also to honor their sanctity, appreciate cultural and religious diversity, and strive to alleviate their suffering. However, compassion’s opposite seems to have more often taken precedence in the world. In an effort to restore compassion to the center of our everyday lives, we need more stories of compassion.
Reflect on a time in your life when you experienced compassion in action in the normal course of human interactions. Tell your story of this experience in the familiar three-part process: what was going on before this moment of compassion, what took place during this exchange of compassion, and how did this change things afterwards?