I saw this recently, after loosing yet another dear friend to cancer, and walking with her through her last days. It spoke to me and I hope to carry it into the school year. I believe we all need compassion from each other: not only in the "big" things like terminal illnesses, but also in the smaller daily matters.
My colleague is stressed and wanting to exert control, she deserves compassion. This small child is crying and unable to follow simple directions, he deserves compassion. This parent is allowing his anger to become personal because he feels for his son's experiences, he too, deserves compassion.
4:51 Joan Halifax defines compassion:
"compassion is comprised of the capacity to see clearly into the nature of suffering, the ability to stand strong, and recognize that I am not separate from this suffering . . .; aspire to transform suffering, engage in activities that transforms suffering; cannot be attached to outcome . . ."
6:20 It is a quality inherent within all of us
7:00 The enemies of compassion: pity, moral-outrage, fear
8:00 "Benefits" of compassion: enhanced resilience, neuro-integration, boast in immune system
9:50 takes a strong back and a soft front
Joan Halifax: Compassion and the true meaning of empathy | Video on TED.com