I was invited by BBC Radio Devon to contribute some musings about Compassion to their Pause for Thought slot from Monday 7th to Sunday 13th January 2019. I am posting each as a separate blog, after it has been aired, with an anthology after the series has ended.
We are still at the beginning of the New Year, and many of us have made resolutions. Some may already feel we’ve failed! But what is a resolution, and what does it take to sustain it?
One dictionary defines resolution as A firm decision to do or not do something.
New Year is not the only time we can make a resolution to improve our lives.
Every day – every moment – is a fresh opportunity to start anew.
When I joined Charter for Compassion International, I resolved to be more compassionate. This has become a daily challenge, and some days I’m more successful than others. The secret is to do my best, and then let myself off the hook if I don’t do as well as I’d like. By remembering that every moment is a new opportunity to do better, and that progress is a more realistic goal than perfection, I am practicing compassion – towards myself, and other human beings.
New Year’s resolutions can take many forms, and many of these are founded on compassion. Better self-care, more patience, kindness to others, personal development – all contain an element of compassion. To be compassionate is to strive to treat everyone – including ourselves – with kindness, respect and consideration. To tolerate imperfection and keep resolving to do our best. Compassion unites us in empathy, and compels us to make a positive difference in our lives and communities – every day.
This week I’d like to invite you to join me each morning, to think about what compassion means to you, and to us, and how cultivating compassion can transform our lives, communities, and world.
Tam Martin Fowles
Originally broadcast on BBC Radio Devon Pause for Thought