Princess Bride is one of those movies full of great one-liners. One of the best is when “the man in black” is climbing up the rock wall and Vizzini says, “He didn’t fall? Inconceivable!” Inigo Montoya replies with, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” In context it is funny because Vizzini over-uses the word “inconceivable” to the point of it not carrying the full weight of its meaning. We do the same. Maybe not with the same word as Vizzini, but sometimes we can say things so much they tend to lose their meaning. They get watered down. Compassion is a word like that.

Breaking the word apart, “com” means with, and “passion” means strong and barely controllable emotion. So “compassion” means with strong and barely controllable emotion. Is that how we use the word? We say we have compassion on others who are going through a hard time, but does that really mean that we relate to them with strong and barely controllable emotion?

Do you relate to others with #compassion? With strong and barely controllable emotion? Click To Tweet

This week, we experienced the largest mass shooting in our country’s history. On Monday morning, October 2, 2017 at an outdoor Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, a lone gunman killed 59 people (to date) and injured over 500 more. Having not been there, I have a hard time connecting to the absolute terror and trauma those people experienced. But compassion… I think about true compassion. Could the injured and family members and friends benefit from our true compassion? From a caring that relates to the fear and grief and anger of this trauma with an overwhelmingly strong and barely controllable emotion? I believe they could. I believe compassion heals. Because I believe compassion drives action.

I believe #compassion heals. Because I believe compassion drives #action. Click To Tweet

In the New Testament gospels, multiple times before Jesus healed someone, it says, “He had compassion on them and healed them.” Compassion comes before healing, but it is also the instigator of it.

#Compassion comes before #healing, but it is also the instigator of it. Click To Tweet

What if we began to actually feel true compassion? What if we opened up our hearts enough to relate with the kind of compassion that reflects the true definition of it… the kind that relates so deeply to the pain of others that healing is the result. What if we took a giant leap from simply thinking about the effects of a tragedy to actually feeling those effects? Might the emotion spur us to action? Might it even bring healing in the divisions among us?

#Compassion relates to the #pain of others so deeply #healing is the result. Click To Tweet

I have a lot of questions today. More questions than anything else. But this one question won’t leave me alone. What if we had true compassion? I am challenged. And I am offering you the same challenge. Will we open ourselves up to the compassion that crosses the boundaries of geographic regions and ideals and politics and religion and whatever else divides us? Will we express our genuinely strong and barely controllable emotion to the hurting, as well as to the God of love who heals? He is near the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. Will we be as well?

 

Brenda Harkins mines the gold in people to help them clearly see their talent, identify their purpose and unleash potential to navigate their unique success. Brenda is a Life and Leadership Coach in her own organization, as well as with The John Maxwell Team and CoreClarity. She is a Public Speaker, Author, Mediator, Entrepreneur, and President of The Harkins Group, Inc. You can connect with Brenda at brenda@brendaharkins.com or find out more at https://brendaharkins.com.