Showing Compassion

Purity of Soul_Rita MaupinBy Harold Klemp

Q: Recently I’ve seen my friends going through tough experiences like a life phase of unfulfilled goals, the burden of too many duties, the injuries of a car accident, or the loss of a family member. I would love to learn more about compassion. How can I best support them?

A: The very worst thing one can say is “I know how you feel!”

You can’t know. No one else could ever possibly know, because that person is unique. There is no one else exactly like that in thought or feeling in the whole, wide world.

How then, to show your compassion in the very best way? Just by listening.

Really listen, without itching for the first chance to offer a solution—unless asked for one. You will learn a lot by listening, without any opinion about the other’s best course of action.

You may, of course, offer words of support. If the troubled Soul, for example, was aiming and striving for a certain promotion when his company was unexpectedly bought out by another company, that position may well have gone to someone else. If appropriate say, “You were doing all the right things. Who could have guessed?”

A grieving friend, on the other hand, may just wish to be alone. In that case, offer to run an errand or do a chore. Or bring a meal, maybe for two.

And remember to listen. That is compassion in expression. You will grow spiritually in doing so.

Excerpted from A Modern Prophet Answers Your Key Questions about Life, Book 2.


An Exercise in Listening

Would you like to try a spiritual experiment? Next time someone tells you about a problem or crisis, practice listening—try using fewer words and more compassion. What did you learn from this experience?


22 Responses to Showing Compassion

  1. Karen says:

    It’s always so wonderful to read all the experiences, opinions, and advice of everyone. “Silence is golden” – one of my favorites. I’ve also been a listener as it is difficult to say the right words to victims in times of loss, illness, traumatic experiences, etc. Most times, people just want a listening ear. I know that helps them.
    Thank you Wah Z and everyone for sharing.
    May the Blessings Be!

  2. Rama Badarou Soule says:

    Thank you Wah Z. If you have returned to the spiritual value of true compassion, it is because you do know, you do see that I’m not applying it enough or all the time.
    I will not stop giving you my gratitude for your constant awakeness. I will endeavor to apply your recommendation. Your love is endless. Thank you again, Wah Z.

    May the blessings be!

  3. Elizabeth, Germany says:

    L ove
    I nterest
    S ilence
    T iming
    E mpathy
    N eutrality

  4. Gregory Spears says:

    I agree that saying “I know how you feel!” is a very bad idea. Even if you actually went through the very same identical suffering, just don’t say it! People hate that. And you can turn someone from sad to incredibly angry in a few seconds with that comment.

  5. Jo Jo Carter says:

    What a beautiful reminder! It seems appropriate for what my family and I are going through.

  6. Helene Pronovost says:

    Thank you so much for your valuable advice on the subject of compassion.

  7. Geetha Murthy says:

    Compassion is a great virtue. The question and answer give some insight to ponder upon. Whenever, I am hard on somebody and realise my lack of compassion, Mahanta makes me to see that I am not listening properly to the Eck. It is a warning to me to open up my Spiritual ears and Eyes. What a gentle and perfect reminder for me. Thank you Mahanta.

  8. Lovedales Kumah, Ghana says:

    Thank you WahZ. This shows how important the Living Eck Master is. Always ready to offer the right way of doing things. We are fortunate.

  9. Cyndy Bradfield says:

    I am sure that there are people that think those of us who love four-legged creatures overdo it. I have raised 3 daughters so do have a comparison. When we had a house fire, I lost two of the most loving friends I have ever known. When people said to me at least no people died I got really upset. They were my people, they slept with me, they nursed me back to health after surgeries. My husband works nights, my children were in school, when my health kept me homebound they were my little saviors. No one else came and no one else was concerned. The thing with the Eck Center is it’s kind of like going to a movie. The actors are there at the movie, when you are there they are available. Once gone you realize they are there for that moment but not when you need someone. There are exceptions, when in a rehabilitation center I understood the difference between friendship and acquaintance. I spent a lot of time, family time at our Eck Center. My family that loved, supported and valued my time were @ home. I spend more time with them now.

  10. Gaston Gnansounou says:

    Merci Mahanta pour ce message sur la véritable compassion

  11. John Ebadan says:

    The Mahanta, our inner master, is always teaching us how to be open channels for the ECKaand thus leave a better life here on earth and in the inner worlds.
    Recently my friend a fellow Eckist fell ill and was admitted to the hospital, he phoned me from there and I promised I would come see him, which I did. While there he was explaining to me all his health issues and I listened and we joked about it all with laughter although this were serious issues. He promised to phone me a few days later if he got discharged and was home. But after a week of not hearing from him I called his home and the phone was ringing but no one answered. After a few more days I called the hospital and they said he was not there. At this time I was getting worried because I did not know his condition but I relaxed and thought the Mahanta and the Eck are in charge here. After more than two weeks no news of my friend and all of sudden I had someone speaking but there was nobody around but I could not hear clearly what was being said so I LISTENED carefully and then I realized it was my mobile phone in my pocket. I quickly got it out and listened some more and then I realised it was my friends wife talking and she said oh it’s you I will hand you over to your friend. I was surprised, I asked my friend did you guys phone me because I did not hear my phone ringing. He said no he has being too weak to think of calling me. He said you just phoned us, I said no I did not phone you today.Then we both realised that the ECK the Mahanta had just connected two friends, this made us laugh even more.

    We are thankful Mahanta.

  12. Hounsa Nicolas says:

    Merci, Harji pour cette sagesse très inspirante sur la compassion.

  13. Edito A. Chy says:

    As the expression says: “silence is golden.”

  14. Ewa joy mark says:

    Am always learning, thanks ECKANKAR Blog for sharing this.

  15. Chukwuemeka Ozukwe says:

    Listening is a good virtue we need to learn. Listen to love and love to listen. Thank you Z. Love you always.

  16. Debra jo Denn says:

    Amazing the power of the HU and all the illusions are broken and healed with the power of positive thoughts and deeds with LOVE EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE TO HEAL THE MIND THE BODY AND SOUL
    Ok to over come the passions of life anger vanity lust and jealousy and balance it with LOVE

  17. Stacie Schultz says:

    Thank you Z for the reminder that we are all unique souls. How could we possibly know what another is going through? We are not them or the karma they are here to experience. We may have similarities allowing us to empathize, but again, we are not in their shoes. Your words of being silent and listening to them is, once again, something I needed to hear. That, in and by itself, is the best gift we can give to another in times of grief. I constantly marvel at how the ECK Masters have this skill so finely honed. Thank you again for the love enough to give us this reminder. I heard it.

  18. Nnena says:

    Thank you Wah Z. I recently lost my husband and it was an awfull experience. I thank Mahanta for friends and relatives who were very understanding. Am grateful to you Mahanta for this piece.

  19. Fleur says:

    Merci Mahanta pour ce partage sur ce que signifie la vraie compassion.

  20. Moses Nduekhe says:

    Thanks so very much Wah Z for this piece.

    Whenever these stuff are posted, I would immediately know that Wah Z knows and sees what is giving us hit. A certain Wednesday some time in 2014, remains fresh in memory. Then again last Wednesday, September 13.

    We are always quick to say “I know how you feel.” No you don’t. You have no idea of how someone else feels especially when something the person considers repugnant happens— words can’t describe it.

    We can offer a helping hand and most importantly, a listening ear. However, the person having the experience do know exactly what and how he/she feels. In both occasions, I have learned the to ask, “what would The Master do if he was in this situation.” This has been very helpful. I try not to let my emotions run wild. There is a reason for all events. But what lesson? Once the lesson is learned, we move on.

    After all, the purpose of the ECK Teachings is to offer us an opportunity to make GOD an everyday reality.

  21. Peter Akpokodje says:

    I recall my friend. During my younger brother’s ECK Memorial Service and interment she came around. Having lost her mum, she listened more and shared the experience with us when the time was right. She followed us to the cemetery and back and was good to be around. She listened and I learned a lot from her. I once read that to love is to listen, and to listen is to love. Thanks ECKANKAR Blog for sharing this much needed article.

  22. Connie Bowden says:

    As always….perfect timing <3

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