Compass Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 526 quotes )
Compassion is a wonderful thing. It's what one feels when one looks at a squashed caterpillar. An elevating experience. One can let oneself go and spread--you know, like taking a girdle off. You don't have to hold your stomach, your heart or your spirit up--when you feel compassion. All you have to do is look down. It's much easier. When you look up, you get a pain in the neck. Compassion is the greatest virtue. It justifies suffering. There's got to be suffering in the world, else how would we be virtuous and feel compassion?... Oh, it has an antithesis--but such a hard, demanding one... Admiration, Mrs. Jones, admiration. But that takes more than a girdle... So I say that anyone for whom we can't feel sorry is a vicious person. Like Howard Roark.
Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.
Compassion- which means, literally, "to suffer with"- is the way to the truth that we are most ourselves, not when we differ from others, but when we are the same. Indeed the main spiritual question is not, "What difference do you make?" but "What do you have in common?" It is not "excelling" but "serving" that makes us most human. It is not proving ourselves to be better than others but confessing to be just like others that is the way to healing and reconciliation.
Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers. The question of what to do with the feelings that have been aroused, the knowledge that has been communicated. If one feels that there is nothing 'we' can do -- but who is that 'we'? -- and nothing 'they' can do either -- and who are 'they' -- then one starts to get bored, cynical, apathetic.
All languages that derive from Latin form the word "compassion" by combining the prefix meaning "with" (com-) and the root meaning "suffering" (Late Latin, passio). In other languages, Czech, Polish, German, and Swedish, for instance - this word is translated by a noun formed of an equivalent prefix combined with the word that means "feeling". In languages that derive from Latin, "compassion" means: we cannot look on coolly as others suffer; or, we sympathize with those who suffer. Another word with approximately the same meaning, "pity", connotes a certain condescension towards the sufferer. "To take pity on a woman" means that we are better off than she, that we stoop to her level, lower ourselves. That is why the word "compassion" generally inspires suspicion; it designates what is considered an inferior, second-rate sentiment that has little to do with love. To love someone out of compassion means not really to love.
If the one thing was right, everything elses must surely be right; the thing was axiomatic. It was true that happiness had often to be wooed, pleaded for, struggled for; but he took it for grantetd that a woman was made like that - she did no come halway to meet desire, or if she did, there was something wrong with her. She shrank instinctively from passion, but her shrinking inflamed it in spite of herself; then, when she reluctantly yielded, here compassion prompted her response. No passion without compassion, no compassion without love, so that her passion was proof positive of her loev. Since every act of love was an act of compliance, it was right to be grateful for it - her surrender was so beautiful - an intoxicating compliment that filled one with a perpetual consciousness of achievement.
She had a wild impulse to seize the stout, good-natured nun by the shoulders and shake her, crying: "Don't you know that I'm a human being, unhappy and alone, and I want comfort and sympathy and encouragement; oh, can't you turn a minute away from God and give me a little compassion; not the Christian compassion that you have for all suffering things, but just human compassion for me?