Compassion: The Gentle Side

Dawn Bardessono Careers in Wine December 18, 2013

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” -Saint Francis de Sales

Our world values strength and a whole host of eye-catching attributes: power, ambition, wealth, and fierceness. But there is deep strength to be found in more subtle traits, such as gentleness and compassion. Gentleness is defined as mildness of manner or disposition. And compassion, often far too rare in our world, is defined as sympathy and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.  A compassionate person will treat others gently and with great respect and care.

Here are some ways you can incorporate gentleness and compassion into your daily life:

  • Pay attention to your tone of voice.
  • Listen for any impatience or frustration that comes across in your words.
  • Speak clearly and softly.
  • Also pay attention to your body language.
  • Keep your arms uncrossed, and be willing to be near to people (respecting their personal space, of course).

Value people. Sometimes we are tempted to value things more than people, and when we do, we fail to act with compassion. Remember that people have great value; respect them as individuals, and be understanding of their own journey. Life has a way of challenging each of us differently, but when we are gentle with each other we give important encouragement and validation.

Be generous. Being gentle and compassionate means being forgiving and understanding, and when we view others with a lens of generosity we can give out of a sense of abundance. When we feel a sense of ‘lack’ in our lives, or that we are missing things we think we should have, we often treat those around us out of that lack. So be generous. You can give to others without losing yourself.Be gentle with yourself. Acknowledge that there are times when you just need some extra compassion in your life.

Maybe you are feeling worried or stressed, and have more on your plate than you can handle. During these times, remember that a gentle touch can give you the strength you need to continue.