Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Compassion languages?

personperson Don't believe everything you think'Merica! Veteran
edited September 28 in Philosophy

Some of you may be familiar with the notion of love languages, I'm wondering if there could be something similar in how we feel or express compassion.

For example, I seem to be more likely to be moved by stories or efforts that help empower poor people, focusing on things like teaching financial literacy, job training or parenting skills more than I am things that are focused on taking care, like providing food or shelter.

Or someone might be more moved by larger social or systemic suffering where another might be more moved by the suffering of individuals. I'm thinking of my Aunt who is always sharing things on Facebook about missing kids or how someone went above and beyond to help someone in distress, but never anything about the state of the world.

I can understand the need or use of all of them, but some are more salient to me. And I would assume that is how most people are.

ShoshinlobsterkandoKerome

Comments

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    The word for 'Compassion' in Maori is "Arohanui" ...Aroha means 'Love' and Nui means 'Big'...So...Compassion... the language of Love...Big Love...

    In work we focus on the individual client's needs ......and there are many individuals with many different needs to focus upon...

    personlobsterKundokando
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I love the Maori language. I love listening to my cousins when they speak it.
    πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

    Shoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited September 29

    On first seeing the topic I was thinking about how certain languages encourage love and feeling emotional. French for example is very much a heart language, while German is much more practical in nature. Which makes me wonder, is there a language which when you speak it encourages you to express your compassion more?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Italian.
    Virgilio, Dante, Manzoni, Veneziano...
    To hear their words, and read their poetry is to be transported to a place before your heart beated, and feel the pulse of passion...

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    is our eyes made for tears?is our tears multifacet ? tears of joy,tears of gratitude,and tears of compassion.our eyes has lived through theese tears.our tears can be our companion through compassion.

    which leads to the subject of soft and strong in our emotional intelligence with regard to compassion.

    lobsterperson
  • Which makes me wonder, is there a language which when you speak it encourages you to express your compassion more?

    Poetry, tears, humour.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_the_birds

    Music has its cymbals
    poets symbols

    There are so many. Freemasons use ritual and symbols as their language.

    Some say when the tears are (s)wept away, the dust beneath our feet is the revelation itself ...

    "Arohanui" ...

    paulyso
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @paulyso said:

    which leads to the subject of soft and strong in our emotional intelligence with regard to compassion.

    This made me think of another possible "language". The tender compassion of someone who might patiently sit at the deathbed of someone dying of cancer and the strong compassion of someone who rushes into a burning building to save someone in danger.

    paulysolobsterShoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited September 29

    @person said: ... and the strong compassion of someone who rushes into a burning building to save someone in danger.

    Fearlessness or selflessness compassion ?

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    @person said:

    and the strong compassion of someone who rushes into a burning building to save someone in danger.

    Fearlessness or selflessness compassion ?

    I don't know that those two are mutually exclusive. Just because someone isn't afraid of a dangerous situation doesn't mean they will care about the well being of anyone in danger.

    I can't remember where I heard this being talked about, but one podcast I listened to was talking about these sorts of "heroic" actions, like Wesley Autrey who jumped on top of a man having a seizure on a subway rail while the train drove over them or someone who suffered severe burns himself rescuing another from a burning car. Interviewing these sorts of people they generally talk about how they didn't even think about themselves and had strong empathy for the person in danger. That kind of sounds like the definition of selfless and compassion.

    I don't know, maybe these sorts of heroic actions aren't compassion and could be characterized as something else. I'm wondering though if what we consider as the "language" of what qualifies as compassion are too narrow. Like love languages, the way one person expresses love maybe doesn't speak to another's language, but that doesn't mean its not love.

    Shoshin
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    Maybe all our definitions are too narrow and don't really encompass the diversity of human beings. Buddhist hospice work focuses on the ability to be open and present and recognizes how hard it can be to do that without shutting down while society normally thinks of something like hospice work as easy.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @person said:

    This made me think of another possible "language". The tender compassion of someone who might patiently sit at the deathbed of someone dying of cancer and the strong compassion of someone who rushes into a burning building to save someone in danger.

    exactly. they respond to the need of the situation through our mind-heart.

    our mind heart can speak through body language as an act of compassion. a smile and a peace sign is universally recieved--for the most part--without spoken language.

    also just being there and listening can be an act of compassion.

    lobsterpersonkando
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @person said:
    Maybe all our definitions are too narrow and don't really encompass the diversity of human beings. Buddhist hospice work focuses on the ability to be open and present and recognizes how hard it can be to do that without shutting down while society normally thinks of something like hospice work as easy.

    It is also about recognising those things that come from the compassionate impulse. I admire people who do volunteering, whether it’s cooking or being at a hospice for the dying.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @person said:
    Maybe all our definitions are too narrow and don't really encompass the diversity of human beings. Buddhist hospice work focuses on the ability to be open and present and recognizes how hard it can be to do that without shutting down while society normally thinks of something like hospice work as easy.

    I actually don't think I know anyone who thinks Hospice work as 'easy'. Admirable, noble, dedicated, yes. Easy? Nope. Never come across that sentiment....

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
    God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

    (1 John 4:8 and 4:16b)

    Some believe introducing Cod is a red herring ... :3

    However this theistic sentiment is the basis of Gnostic teaching in the inner Abrahamic tradition. For example in the Sufi model, it is the softening of the heart to existing forms of love and widening that appreciation that awakens the knowing ...
    http://sufiway.net/ar_Sufism_Love_Mahabba.html
    Love without reason ...

    ... and now back to the burst bubbles ...

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    @paulyso said:

    @person said:

    This made me think of another possible "language". The tender compassion of someone who might patiently sit at the deathbed of someone dying of cancer and the strong compassion of someone who rushes into a burning building to save someone in danger.

    exactly. they respond to the need of the situation through our mind-heart.

    our mind heart can speak through body language as an act of compassion. a smile and a peace sign is universally recieved--for the most part--without spoken language.

    also just being there and listening can be an act of compassion.

    The term 'mind-heart' is exactly it, when they work together it can be awesome. I feel that 'deep listening' is the most compassionate act we can perform, to be listened to is an amazing experience and so rare that you always know when it happens :)

    lobsterpaulysoJeffrey
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @kando said:
    I feel that 'deep listening' is the most compassionate act we can perform, to be listened to is an amazing experience and so rare that you always know when it happens :)

    I like that, I don't know that compassion languages are a real thing but this sort of thing seems like a good candidate for a language category as what some or many people would resonate with.

    kando
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran
    edited October 1

    @kando said:

    @paulyso said:

    @person said:

    This made me think of another possible "language". The tender compassion of someone who might patiently sit at the deathbed of someone dying of cancer and the strong compassion of someone who rushes into a burning building to save someone in danger.

    exactly. they respond to the need of the situation through our mind-heart.

    our mind heart can speak through body language as an act of compassion. a smile and a peace sign is universally recieved--for the most part--without spoken language.

    also just being there and listening can be an act of compassion.

    The term 'mind-heart' is exactly it, when they work together it can be awesome. I feel that 'deep listening' is the most compassionate act we can perform, to be listened to is an amazing experience and so rare that you always know when it happens :)

    hi @kando. our heart beats;our mind pulsate.one is of function,as we know.lets get that heart crculating our brain.the other is potentially of purpose or intention.one of my eurika moment was the heart was not outside the brain but central to our intention and volition.our hero,sidhartha knew about that.for that we are grateful.when someone says you speak to my heart,it could also mean you spoke directly to my mind that moved me in a profound way.the language of sincerity with honest intonation sometimes if present,can move me.

    i whole heartedly agree deep listening can bond and connect with each other.sidhartha is keen on friendship when addressing to ananda to bond and support.having good friends to talk to helps us grow--like excerise--our mind-heart central organ in our human body.

    Jeffreykando
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    Watching the Mind and Life conference today reminded me how much I resonate with the Tibetan approach to mental and emotional suffering. Their compassion language.

    ...and how much I still have struggles with their metaphysics and maybe epistemology.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    I was reflecting on a couple fictional characters, Sherlock Holmes and the Doctor (from Doctor Who). Both of them are often inconsiderate of others feelings or even abrasive, they are highly focused on competence, practicality, effectiveness. But they are both deeply caring characters, spending their lives in the pursuit of helping others.
    It seems like that sort of behavior could be considered compassionate.

    It's a bit of a paradox to me, they are often harsh or even cruel with others emotions but have a larger picture of being of benefit. And would they be as effective and able to do as much good if they were more considerate of people's emotions?

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited October 7

    In the Mind and Life conferences Mattieu Ricard gives a presentation and makes a point of distinguishing two modes of compassion, affective and cognitive. To my mind this was along the lines of some of what I was trying to get at. Normally we only think of compassion as being the affective sort.

    In a Buddhist sense Mattieu makes the point that the goal is to have both, like in the analogy of two wings of a bird. But of course we are all human and until we become perfectly enlightened beings we will likely have more of one than the other.

    Video highlighting this point, go back a few minutes to around 1:02:00 if you want to see his whole presentation.

Sign In or Register to comment.