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DGS Associate Head Girls' Thought for the Term: Compassion

Posted on: 18/03/2022


What is compassion? Compassion is ‘sympathetic concern for the suffering or misfortune of others’ – a particularly poignant value at this time with the ever more desperate events unfolding in Ukraine. While compassion is sometimes more visible when atrocious global events transpire, it’s a value that shouldn’t be forgotten in everyday life.

Small kind actions and gestures can make a huge difference to someone’s day. Putting a smile on someone’s face, sharing a laugh, or simply showing kindness when someone is struggling are all ways that we can lift the spirits of those around us. If we offer support when times are tough, then we can rise up together to achieve great things.

Compassion is an action that makes humanity stand out from the animal kingdom; it is a powerful value built on our empathy with others. The Dalai Lama explains that “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” This special act of considering the suffering and struggles of others allows us to combat suffering and struggling in the world. As a human race, showing empathy can unify us, and together we are stronger.

For us, compassion takes two stages. Firstly, in the recognition and understanding of those suffering around us. While hectic lives can sometimes narrow our view of the world happening around us, it's important we take time to notice the way others are feeling. Secondly, compassion involves taking action to relieve this suffering and attempt to heal or improve the pain that others feel.

I think the proverb ‘charity begins at home’ can coincide with the value of compassion. For us to show compassion to our families, friends, colleagues, and strangers we must also show elements of compassion to ourselves. Life isn’t a straight road, its full of unexpected twists and turns which is why we must recognise the times when we are struggling and much like we empathise with others, we should consider what we can do to support our wellbeing in tough times.

Showing compassion to ourselves, to our friends and to strangers across the globe is tremendously powerful and special, and if the last few years have taught us anything it’s that support, unity and compassion are values that should never be forgotten.

Chloe Cormack (11SXN) & Amelia Smith (11JXP)
DGS Associate Head Girls

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