Good Morning All,
Compassion brings out the best in us by making us kinder and gentler to one another. It makes us more open and honest, not to mention, generous and willing to share with others. When we turn our thoughts toward strangers with problems and we are emotionally empathetic to their difficulties we can identify with their plights of suffering. If we have been there too we immediately connect with them by lapsing back into our old roles. As we listen to their stories, their words fill us with reminders as to what it was like for us when we experienced a similar set of circumstances, making us more attuned to their feelings. We naturally find ourselves wanting to reach out to them in their time of dire need to make things better for them. Even a mere glimpse into their troubled world encourages us to try to do anything which we possibly can to help elevate their pain.
When we see someone trip and fall on the street in front of us we experience an instinctive reaction to assist them. We try to do what we can to help that person to get up and right back on their feet again. In such situations our compassion brings out our social interconnectedness.
Prosocial behavior was the basis of early human survival in beginning times. They can be defined as any actions related to giving, helping and sharing. People who engage in good human conduct and refrain from selfish deeds are moral minded individuals who seem to experience greater happiness overall. They have a strong sense of personal obligation when it comes to others that is an ever-present part of their personas. Researchers are currently evaluating both the mental and physical benefits of prosocial behaviors: Incentives and Prosocial Behavior, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1-7, Retrieved April 9, 2008, from NBER Working Paper Series. Another research effort worthy of investigating is the Cross-National Study on the Relations among Prosocial Moral Reasoning, Carlo, Gustavo, Marcia S. Da Silva, Nancy Eisenberg, Claudia B. Frohlich, and Silvia H. Koller. (1996).
Copyright ©2010 All right reserved – Victoria L. Rayner
Daniel Goldman Speaks on the Topic of Compassion
Human Behavior Project
Human Behavior Reflected on Children