Girls happy dancing friends on traffic light control

Sunday Sayings – Compassion

Many judge others who are dissimilar to them, far too quickly and without compassion. Judgements are a breeding ground for misconceptions and left to fester uninhibited can develop into prejudice, fear an in its worst incarnation, racism.


Individualism is rampant. Income inequality is growing. Public education is under-resourced. The gender revolution is stalling. We no longer trust our major institutions or our political leaders. We are more socially fragmented, more anxious, more depressed, more overweight, more medicated, deeper in debt and increasingly addicted – whether to our digital devices, drugs, pornography or ‘stuff’.

~Hugh Mackay

The streets are empty of children, neighbours are sometimes strangers. We don’t seem to talk to each other, so much anymore. Now in the wake of the Christchurch tragedy and upcoming elections, immigration and security is on the political agenda.

Christchurch monument to Sept 11

There is intense discussion on the social problems of rising prejudice, racism, fear and extremist sentiment. An undercurrent of fear and divisiveness, is deliberately or unwittingly perpetuated by media forces. What can the individual do?

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured

by the compassionate actions of its members

~ Coretta Scott King

Yesterday I wrote a post about Neighbours from Hell, and heard Social Researcher Hugh Mackay’s concept of nurturing our neighbourhoods by developing compassion. Hugh believes it is compassion that will save mankind from divisiveness, radical viewpoints and extreme behaviour.

Weekly Proverb

With a sweet tongue and kindness,

you can drag an elephant by a hair

~ Persian Proverb

Once I turned 20 years of age, I was keen to contribute and be actively involved in the community, be that in the educational setting, workplace or community leisure groups. Involvement in these groups has brought me many lasting friendships and taught me valuable life lessons. I had to find ways to get along with different kinds of people, to make things work. Resentment and dislikes impaired the team effort. Community cohesiveness became impportant to me

Compassion and a sense of acceptance of others for their differences can assist us to understanding our neighbours, and colleagues and, in doing so, we foster a sense of community, of inclusiveness.

In a perfect world, no one group or individual would feel so threatened or socially isolated they would need to resort to violence or aberrant behaviour. We can all do our part in our own small neighbourhood, to drag the metaphorical elephant by the hair.

“We do not have to agree with them, but we Do just have to understand them.”

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”
― J.K. Rowling,

What do you think?

Could compassion and community be the antidote to social extremism?

Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned.

Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

33 thoughts on “Sunday Sayings – Compassion”

    1. Thank you Yvette! We must look forward to rational, constructive ways, not retreat into shutting ourselves off, shrinking inside our protective shells and closing ourselves off from the world. This is only the way to misunderstanding, mistrust,loneliness and more aberrant behaviour. I think it is sad that many have forgotten the success of America’s melting pot concept.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes – but even tho we have the meting pot – many over here forget it to and we universally have to combat bias, prejudice, anger, and hate – and so posts like this are so good for raising awareness about love- compassion – softness –
        at times we might need to have a protective shell to heal – but as you note – not stay there

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A protective shell, yes I understand that, Yvette. Such as after Sept 11, but I wonder if we can still keep two issues going simultaneously? A protective shell to nurture us whilst spreading a nurturing umbrella to include others and keep them close under our wing too. They do not not have to stand out in the rain because we are busy/distracted by our own inner thoughts, do they? That will be an example that I do hope others will follow.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Awareness for compassion can be encouraged by our leaders as can the opposite, intolerance and navel gazing.
    Mindless promoting of material well-being as the main aim in life is often held by our political leaders as some sort of carrot to vote for them.
    Compassion is based on giving and understanding differences.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love that you are speaking out for tolerance and empathy towards differences Amanda. I’ve been pleased to hear some similar sentiments from some of the politicians (not all) in the wake of the Christchurch massacre. It’s been a welcome change to the usual Xenophpobic inspiring comments from our pollies. There’s more votes in promoting fear! Keep it up Amanda. If enough people speak out for tolerance, empathy and understanding we’ll one day reach the tipping point. It’s only then, that like smoking, to speak unfounded xenophobic sentiments out loud will become socially unacceptable. Great post, and great supporting quotes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Chris. It dawned on me that hatred and prejudice is such a dead end road. There is no other alternative than to choose compassion and understanding. I remember the Australia of my youth with fondness too, as do others who are anti immigration, but the reality is that with progress, comes change. We cannot stick our heads in the sand, so we must find ways to lead by example, embracing and accepting others, if we ever want them to accept us and our culture. If we try to force them to change, they will only retreat further into their protective shell, trust us less and display more rigid attitudes. This means the divide between us will grow wider and wider. That pathway is doomed. Thank you for your supportive words, Chris. It is good to know you think similarly. There is much space in our hearts and our country for more than one culture.


      1. Absolutely correct Amanda. All we need to do is stand firm that we have a right to our own culture, and stand firm that others are entitled to their own culture – co-existing with tolerance of differences, side by side.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I found myself thinking that the church in Philippines didn’t get this out cry and then I realised it’s the tit for tat that perpetuates.. we have to look beyond to compassion to stop the cycle.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, Lisa. Gandhi has some wise words about revenge. “An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind,” – Where does that get us? Nowhere but more violence, tragedy and sorrow. It helps no one.


  4. I think, more and more, that the Earth is getting rid of humans. Once this sinks in, we will have some of our best years and live like we should have all along. Some have.
    I don’t know why people are not starting yet. Time is short.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Is this an evolutionary strategy designed to reduce our population, then Manja. Eradicate the humans? I am not so pessimistic. I feel we will prevail but only if we can change our ways. It is too late already for some species driven to extinction.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I am sorry to hear that but I can relate, in the sense that I experienced that same feeling, when I was studying, the environment, at Uni all those years ago. But years laterI began to realise that mankind is quite resilient and stubborn. Somehow they find ways around things. Not all but many, this always gives me a felling of hope.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. i agree that compassion is tantamount to helping this world heal. I find that it fosters understanding, which in turn leads to change. Sadly I also see that people who fear change will do all in their power to not let it happen. Therein is the problem. If I advocate understanding I’m perceived as an outsider who cannot be trusted, so my message is mocked or ignored. Then what? [rhetorical question]

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know what you are saying, Ally. If we promote and develop betterunderstanding of those things and folks that we fear the most, the fears will dissipate, despite the heckling. Within friendships, things might seem clearer or make sense. Friendships across the divide of prejudices are the most powerful vehicle of all, I think in this battle of compassion and harmony. I think it is friendship that is the best defence for those folks who ramp up to do battle with others for their beliefs. Fostering friendship with someone from an opposing camp will be very difficult, especially if you are viewed as an outsider, and mocked, but plugging away at a single friendship might work. From little things, bigger things can grow. In my day, it was writing letters to develop penfriends with folks in Muslim countries or those living behind the iron curtain, that helped bridge the divide and enhance understanding between cultures and beliefs. With the digital age, this should still be possible. How do you react when folks mock your message?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pooja for that comment. I am glad you liked it, and I do agree with you. Compassion can save mankind from the ugly emotions we have, and the awful consequences. How does Poland view the events in New Zealand, generally speaking?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My closest friends and family think that it’s absurd and very sad what he did. But I haven’t noticed any extensive talk about it on social media.. I don’t watch TV so I don’t know how much coverage it got there.


  6. We’ve been desensitised by these atrocities unfortunately. Your cry out for compassion is amazing. I hope many can jump on the bandwagon and reach out to at least one person who we may not otherwise have reached out to. Demystifying the unknown… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Demystifying the unknown… 🙂 ” Such fantastic words you wrote there, Jolene. That would help to decrease this fear response that is so very destructive. “Reaching out to at least one other person.” – Yes!! Wonderful. From little things, big things can grow. #OneWorld Let’s change it for the better.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Amanda, the horrific violent actions and so many deaths shook the world … your calm post is a soothing balm to the madness. I totally agree that compassion and understanding are key. In a country currently riven by self-serving politicians, it seems more important than ever for people in society to step up and work together. I love your quotes and particularly the Persian proverb. I collect quotes and will add this to my file – in a few words they speak wisdom and absolute truths straight to one’s heart and soul.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The way you feel about proverbs is also how I think of them, Annika. One can really find so many layers and meanings in the words. Clearly they have meant so much to many people over centuries, hence why these wise words have survived and been passed down through the generations.
      Thanks also so very much for your lovely words about my post. I do hope the call for unity and compassion falls on many ears all around the world. It is the only way for mankind to move forward. Revengeful and fearful rhetoric whips up folks into a potentially explosive frenzy of xenophobia. It makes me sad when people became so insular. Not all of us feel that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think compassion is our main barrier to the fear, ignorance, and defensiveness that leads to unhappiness and violence. Compassion is the main route to understanding where emotions come from and to allow everyone to be heard without judgment or attack. Openness and communication are imperative if you expect many different types of people to get along. And I do agree with Manja, we also need compassion for the world we live in. People have lost touch with and respect for the world that sustains them and I believe this leads to most of the unhealthiness and unhappiness today. Thank you for your important message!

    Liked by 1 person

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