Compassion & Empathy
Empathy for the plight of others is very positive and powerful. In it the empathetic person is able to imagine being in the place of the troubled person and feel what they feel. In fact, empathy precedes compassion. Empathy without compassion leaves the individual drained of energy as a result of feeling what the other feels. Empathy occurs immediately and leaves no emotional room between the individual and the one who is suffering. Compassion is more cognitive in nature. There is a sense of self awareness that provides some necessary space between the two people. The empathizer experiences the same suffering with the other, leaving the empathizer overwhelmed. As a result, compassion allows the individual the be more helpful than the individual who experiences empathy alone.
None of this implies that there is anything wrong with empathy. Simply put, we need a combination of both empathy and compassion to be most helpful to people. Our agency is a firm believer in the practice of empathy and compassion. They are ones of the main guiding principles that lead our way.
Compassion is a Four-step Process
Awareness of Suffering
Sympathetic concern related to being emotionally moved by suffering
Wish to see the relief of that suffering
Responsiveness or readiness to help relieve that suffering
It takes strength of character to move from one form to another. We are constantly evaluating, listening, correcting, and innovating. We do not fail when we change course. We fail when we are unwilling to change when that is what’s needed.
We are not satisfied until we achieve meaningful, positive results. We do not see the challenges and ineffectiveness of the status quo as barriers to success, but as invitations to think creatively and to push forward.
Our determination comes from knowing what we are for, and not simply what we are against. Creating a roadmap for change requires the vision to see a better way, the belief that a better way is possible, and the conviction that justice demands it.
Unity & Solidarity
Solidarity creates an environment in which mutual service is encouraged. The ability to recognize and accept the whole range of corresponding duties and obligations that are embedded in our social nature can occur only in an atmosphere enlivened by solidarity. The natural unity of the human family cannot be fully realized when people suffer the ills of poverty, discrimination, oppression, and social alienation, leading to isolation from the larger community. But our response of love must be voluntary to be virtuous.
No society may neglect the requirements of justice, particularly social and economic justice toward the poor. Society may appropriately direct the actions of its members to fulfill the obligations owed in justice to all persons. We especially listen to the cries from the most vulnerable among us.
Solidarity is a social virtue that bears many fruits and blessings, which come in a variety of forms and affect all of life. Solidarity yields a healthy society, a thriving economy, care for those on the margins, and structures that protect the family.
Solidarity: The Fundamental Virtue
Take Action to Help Refugees Around the World
An unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes by conflict and persecution by the end of 2016. Among them nearly 22.5 million are refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. There are also 10 million stateless people, who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.
We must all think about what more we can do to help. The answer begins with unity and solidarity.