On Compassion

Compassion: From a Latin meaning “to suffer together”

Compassion: A sympathetic consciousness

Compassion: A feeling of wanting to help someone in need

Compassion: Mercy, tenderness, heart, clemency, sympathy, commiseration, feeling, empathy, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, leniency, kindness, charity, pity, humanitarianism

Compassion: A worthy characteristic regardless of religious or nonreligious preferences

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. (Dalai Lama)

The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. (Albert Schweitzer)

Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. (Albert Einstein)

Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men. (Confucius)

Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future. (Nelson Mandela)

Compassion: An original composition for handbells by Jason Krug, performed by our handbell choir (Bells of Peace)

61 thoughts on “On Compassion

    • Chris,
      Welcome first time commenter. Every now and then I put together a post like this around a word. In this case, the music sparked the idea.

      Thanks for the link, and I encourage anyone reading this to read it!


    • Cathy,
      Glad you enjoyed my combination of words and music.

      Good question about handbell music. All the notes are on the same page, that is everyone see the same music. Picture piano music with even more notes! However, each player focuses on their notes.

      On this page shows music. Below the title, first thing is to identify the bells used. http://www.ring-press.com/product/ring-dance-3-5-octaves-level-3/

      Typical notations are used … however, so are handbell-specific notations. I searched for charts on Google Images … found them, but hard to see.


      • Very cool, Frank. thanks for the explanation. I’m assuming that most members of a choir (or I’d suspect all of them) have played some other instrument prior to joining as playing in the choir would require the ability to read music!


        • Correct … everyone has a musical background of some sort. Those with a piano background have the easiest time reading the music …. others, like me, try to block out the other notes.


    • Viveka,
      Thanks for the kind words. When playing the piece, I could feel compassion, so I knew i wanted to use the video … and then came the idea! More importantly, your point about the easy and difficult side of compassion is excellent!


  1. I was deeply immersed in leading a group last night through the steps to enable moving from judgement to compassion – came home to read your post and listen to the tuneful chiming of bells. Nicely timed Frank! I listened again just now – just beautiful!


    • Pauline,
      Many say timing is everything … even if it is through synchronicity for many miles away! Excellent!!!

      On a side note, I work handbells into various posts either by providing links to the songs we play, making a point (like this one), or through a dedicated post. For more, see the sidebar for Categories > Handbells.


  2. What a beautiful composition! I really enjoyed hearing it, Frank. And I think compassion is absolutely critical in a well-adjusted and emotionally healthy person. I really think it’s linked closely to kindness, and I think we need to cultivate both!


  3. This was so gorgeous, Frank . . . just lovely. Bravo! I’ve been thinking a lot about compassion lately. This was good meditation material. Favorite note was compassion as seen through the eyes of Mandela. Good luck with the move.


    • E-Tom,
      Glad you heard and enjoyed this! There were so many good quotes about compassion, but I was trying to get a mix of people to show its universality.

      Thanks for the best wishes … meanwhile, I press on.


  4. Compassion is once again getting a revival in the World… Once we see Love and compassion are needed in bringing our world to a more harmonic frequency…. Like the Bells, each one resonates its own tone…. We are learning to alter our own vibrations.. in the fields of our emotions…
    Listening here on headphones and enjoying.. thank you…
    Sue xox


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