Our Shared Humanity
Heartfulness eMagazine|August 2021
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” —Pema Chödrön
RUBY CARMEN

Compassion – just one word – seems so relevant in this moment, in particular in the grieving, loss-filled times we are living in.

It is not always easy to define or capture the true meaning of the word, but we can certainly feel it, and sometimes its absence. One more literal definition of compassion is “to suffer together,” and although not an exact translation, in Hindi and Urdu we have the word hamdardi – our (shared) pain.

Researchers in the field of positive psychology and emotions describe compassion as the feeling that comes when faced with the suffering of another, accompanied by the need to relieve that suffering.

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