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Mr Manning's Thought for the Term: Compassion

Posted on: 11/03/2022


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The last two years and especially the last two weeks have demanded our insight, our empathy and, for some time now, roused huge personal, civil and humanitarian concern. The Covid 19 pandemic has transformed social habits and customs, tested our strength, resilience and our ability to adapt and pivot. Most recently, Russia's invasion of the Ukraine now confronts our very sense of humanity, tolerance and civility. 

The Ukrainian people are facing unimaginable suffering, with violence escalating by the day, prompting devastating loss of life. The scenes beamed through the media are shocking, the implications and suffering for all involved, utterly frightening. Naturally, there is much talk of compassion. 

The sense of compassion of course comprises a level of empathy for those who are suffering - our hearts reach out to those who have been killed, wounded, bereaved and displaced. Compassion, however, has a much deeper sense than the kindness of empathy, sympathy, pity, sensitivity or tenderness. The key for me to compassion is that sense of conscious action, a true desire and intent to reduce suffering, to alleviate pain and distress. What compassion does, is that it gets involved. Whilst some emotions keep their distance, compassion prompts us to act on their behalf.

Mr W Manning
Headteacher, St Birinus School

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