Compassion is a response to the suffering of others, that motivates a desire to help them, says Wikipedia. The information we are faced with daily, if not hourly is overwhelming. If compassion is something you have in abundance, it may be hard for you to operate knowing all of the suffering others are experiencing.
Some people feel great impact each time a child is killed, a shooting occurs, a storm destroys a town, a family is separated, a plane crashes, a person is missing, a pet is mistreated, a job is lost, a bomb is dropped, a right is denied. The list is endless. The suffering that people experience can overwhelm us, if it is five states away, on the other side of the planet, or in our own community. These events can cause feelings of anger, sadness, despair, hopelessness and fear, to name a few.
How do we maintain compassion but take care of ourselves?
The Opposite of Indifference?
Lack of interest is called indifference. How do we find balance when there is so much to worry about? We can educate ourselves, but also risk overexposure to certain topics. Following an issue when there are so many to follow, feels overwhelming. If there is a topic that interests you, learn about it, decide what your role is and focus on that. Your role may be to pray, meditate, volunteer, donate time or money or send positive energy towards that issue and the beings that are dealing with it.
Start with yourself. Communicate with yourself and others in a non violent way. If you need support doing so, reach out for help. Express gratitude and love.
“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”
― Dalai Lama XIV