The Science of Compassion

The Science of Compassion

You Have Lots of Compassion

You are a naturally empathetic and caring person. Other people matter to you, and it shows.
You celebrate your friends’ successes and sympathize when they run into trouble.

You have a strong sense of justice, and you want to protect everyone who’s been treated unfairly.
It’s hard for you to judge someone unless you’ve walked a mile in his or her shoes. You give people the benefit of the doubt.

The above is a result of my taking the short quiz that you can take by clicking “How Compassionate Are You?” above.


This is just kind of a fun way to introduce “The Science of Compassion” In the next few weeks or months I would like to spend some time discussing compassion, finding out what others think it is and more importantly developing some activities that aim to make us more compassionate.


Awhile back our local news channel came on with breaking news. It seems two geese with their five goslings had found their way onto the left hand shoulder of a major expressway here in the Chicago. They were walking aimlessly until two State Troopers in their cars along with an emergency tow truck started guiding them off the road out of danger. The first task was to get the geese and goslings across three lanes of traffic onto the right side where they could guide them to a ramp and eventually out of harms way. I couldn’t help but think while watching the sky camera from the traffic helicopter how peaceful the geese looked despite the danger they were facing. They had all the support they needed with the troopers and emergency vehicle to get them across the lanes, down the ramp and eventually to safety.

What a beautiful example compassion. Now, if we could only be as caring with our fellow citizens. Jeffrey Sachs, who among his many other accomplishments, is an economist and Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia’s School of Public Health writes:

“The most difficult challenge in America today is mindfulness of others. The social safety net is frayed. The poor are suffering while the politicians discuss cutting the social safety net even further. Mindfulness of others is typically far stronger within an in-group than across racial or ethnic divides.”[1]

Today and in the coming weeks, I invite you to join me in the search for ways to become more compassionate asking you to share your reflections and actions you personally have found helpful in your attempt to be a compassionate person.



[1] Excerpt From: Jeffrey D. Sachs. “The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity.” Random House, 2012-08-21. iBooks.

2 thoughts on “The Science of Compassion

  1. Good idea. We all can use a reminder to be more compassionate. Just this week a friend of mine was admitted to the hospital. She was frightened and unsure of what was wrong. I didn’t know what to do for her except to listen. After talking to here on the phone, I decided to send some flowers and a note saying I would be praying for her. Just a little compassuin gies a long way.

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