Compassion is a character trait that is present in everyone, however it is also a trait that sometimes gets forgotten. This list of 10 different ways to show compassion, one for each letter of the word, is composed of easy ways that people of all ages can make an effort to show compassion during this season, or better yet in everyday life, regardless of the time of year.
1. Challenge yourself to smile more.
How many times do we walk into a room and see a majority of the people standing around looking like this ? They may glance down at their phones or look up as you walk by, but most of the time people are just neutral. Challenge yourself to smile more. Smile at your neighbor as you drive by, the mailman as he drops off a package, and the lady at the grocery store who scans your groceries. Changing your look from unemotive to something more like this is a small action can that can have a huge impact on someone else.
2. Open the door for someone.
Think about the last time someone help a door open for you. Was it at a store when your hands were full with shopping bags? Was it as you were entering or exiting school? No matter where it took place, chances are you were grateful to the person who held the door for you because it was one less task you had to worry about as you were moving to your next destination. Take a few seconds to open the door for someone else and better yet, remember to smile as they walk by you.
3. Motivate others.
Motivation is often an idea that many people struggle with. With the help from others, encouraging words and positivity can help to uplift someone’s spirit. Use some of these key phrases to help in your motivation, “You did it!” and “How do you feel about that?” Using positive language such as “You can do it!” helps to motivate as well.
4. Practice acts of kindness.
Many of the ideas on this list fall into the category “act of kindness”. Beyond this list, there are many more activities that are considered acts of kindness. Attempt to practice at least two different acts of kindness a day. This could include donating clothes to the poor, time to help serve meals, or maybe just taking a minute to hold the door open for someone else. The possibilities are endless!
5. Allocate time to bond with friends and family.
Life is too short to be “busy” all the time. We all have a tendency to get caught up in the daily hustle and bustle of getting to school, going to work, getting homework done, and trying to catch up on chores around the house. Set aside time to forget about everything you need to do and just spend a few hours catching up with family and friends. It will be time well spent and you will have plenty of time to catch up on your to-do list later.
6. Say encouraging words.
Today’s world is absorbed in negativity. It seems that nothing is ever good enough and the things people do often come up short of perfect. Instead of dwelling on everything people do wrong, use your voice to tell them what they are doing right and encourage them to continue working towards their goals.
7. Share a hug or a handshake.
The power of touch is unique. Sharing a hug or a hand shake can be a powerful but simple way to show compassion. Make an effort to utilize hugs and handshakes in a variety of situations to show others that you care.
8. Incorporate the phrase “thank you” into your daily routine.
Manners matter! We often have a tendency to believe that our gratefulness for any given act is implied, but the reality of the situation is that our thankfulness for most things in life is left unspoken. Incorporate the phrase “thank you” into more of your routine activities. Thank the receptionist at the hair salon for her time, a teacher for their classroom efforts, or a child for their drive to learn. Gratitude is something that should never be left unspoken.
9. Offer to help someone with their to-do list.
To-do lists seem to be endless, however as the saying goes, many hands make light work. Volunteer to help someone out with his or her chore list. Checking any task off that list will feel like a great accomplishment.
10. Nurture relationships by taking time to listen to others.
Sometimes, the easiest way to build a relationship can be done simply by listening. Put forth an effort to just listen to what others have to say around you. Contribute to the conversation, but try not to take it over. It is easy to be the only person talking in a situation, it is much more difficult to listen to the contributions of others.
These 10 small ideas help to exemplify what compassion is all about. I challenge you to try them out with your family and share your experiences with us. By showing a little more compassion, our world will be a happier place for all of us.
Katie Krawczyk is a graduate of Creative Montessori Academy (CMA), a public charter Montessori school in Southgate, Michigan, where she spent 10 years of her educational life from preschool until 8th Grade. She is currently a student at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan, where she is pursuing a degree in mathematics and secondary education. Although she has been a Montessori graduate for over six years now, she cherishes the skills and experiences that she gained during those formative school years in a Montessori public school. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching swim lessons, watching movies, and one-day hopes to travel the world.