Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace. ~ Albert Schweitzer


Syrian Refugee Children

I thought a good way to start the new year would be to focus on something so much of today’s world seems to be lacking—compassion.

It’s easy to feel compassion for those we love. (I picked that image above because the little boy looks so much like my grandson.)

It’s easy to feel compassion for those we agree with, those who are, basically, the same as us. But what about those who are not? That’s probably most of the world.

What about those who commit horrible crimes against others, politicians whose main motivation is political survival at any cost and so on?

Can we feel compassion even for these people?

One of my all-time favorite stories is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. In the film version, there’s a scene where Bob Cratchit and his wife are discussing Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob’s employer.

She’s in a rage about how badly Scrooge treats her hysband, a longtime loyal employee. Bob urges her to have some compassion, even though she cannot stand the sound of Scrooge’s name.

How hard is it for you to feel compassion for someone you can’t stand?


Nothing you can ever say or do—or even think—can be done in a vacuum. Everything you do, say or think affects the entire planet, quite literally. It even goes beyond your planet. Every being in all creation is affected by your every thought, word and deed.

Every kind thought you hold will touch someone and uplift them. Every angry word you utter will touch someone. Every good deed you do will touch someone. All you do, all you are affects all creation.

You have the power to literally change the world—for better or for worse. Do not underestimate your power!

With this awareness, you will discover an expanding sense of compassion. Compassion for your loved ones, your friends, even those you might consider enemies.

With this compassionate awareness will come a deepening sense of connectedness with all that is. You cannot exist alone and independent, even if you wanted to. You are all one.

Many of you say you want peace on earth. Yet you despair of ever having it. If you really want peace on earth, be a peacemaker. A peacemaker has compassion for all, including herself or himself.

Do you want a new dawn of peace in your new year of 2018? Then be a compassionate peacemaker.

Adapted from Spirit Oracle Cards by John Cali and Spirit

Copyright © 2017 by John Cali


Steven Caldwell created this video, What Is Compassion?, to share the true meaning of compassion with middle school students. Obviously, many adults can also learn something from the video.


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