It is about identifying with the feelings of others and especially with their suffering.
Compassion is rooted in empathy.
It begins by recognising in ourselves the emotions that others are feeling and how we would feel in the same circumstance, in other words we get to manage our emotions in relation to that of other people around us.
Compassion is more than empathy; it is the living expression of the Golden Rule, to treat others as you would have them treat you. Compassion is the practice of empathy.
Many of the problems that young people face are rooted in the lack of compassion. Bullying, violence, emotional abuse, social exclusion and prejudices based on ethnicity, culture and other differences are all fuelled by failures of empathy.
In the bigger and adult world as it becomes more interdependent, cultivating compassion is a moral and a practical imperative, as well as a spiritual.
Practising compassion is the truest expression of our common humanity and a deep source of happiness in ourselves and others. In schools like elsewhere, compassion has to be practised, not preached.
As educators, our job description is very fluid, we have so much to do.
Everyday is a new beginning.