Sympathy vs. Compassion

This is going to be a strange posting week. I usurped Monday’s Words for the Week to wish my late wife a happy anniversary. Today is usually reserved for Readin’, ‘Ritin’ & ‘Rithmetic, but since we won’t be having a Five Minute Friday prompt this week, I decided to move our 3Rs to Friday — with another announcement — and insert Words for the Week today, right here, right now. Follow that?

Our Words for the Week are from Ray Lammie.

Raised in Levittown, PA, Ray served in the US Air Force and lived 40 years of his life as a successful business executive and entrepreneur in a nationwide business. After retiring in 2006, Ray pursued cancer support; business consulting, co-authored two books; numerous charity events and both played and managed amateur baseball. Among Ray’s most notable accomplishments was the launching of two Internet based projects — “Thought for Today” which targeted the business community with powerful, positive thought provoking thoughts and quotes, which later gave birth to the “Faith Thought of the Day”, a daily bible based devotional. Both were sent to recipients worldwide and were featured on several faith based websites.

Surviving cancer four times, Ray and his wife Barbara’s faith based lives led them to donate hundreds of Ray’s inspirational and uplifting books Random Thoughts on Life and Thoughts in Color and Black and White to people around the world in need of emotional encouragement.

Ray viewed every day as a precious gift and had no idea what the words “give up” meant. He believed some days were better than others, but chose not to have bad days. Ray was known for helping people believe in themselves. “You don’t need to see it, you just need to believe it in order to make it a reality” was Ray’s motto.

So here is this week’s Words for the Week from Ray Lammie

I was never big on sympathy. It’s not that I don’t care, but I don’t see much good with sympathy, and there can be some harm.

Sympathy deals with the “problem” while never talking about answers, options and action. When you show compassion, you can help people find a way out of their problems. With compassion, you take action to do something that may make a difference. Compassion moves us, motivates us and stirs up the spirit. At its worst, sympathy tells us our situation is OK and we don’t need to be concerned about it.

Maybe a little of both is best, but I’ll take compassion over sympathy any day!

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Your life will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. — Nicholas LaBianca

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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3 Responses to Sympathy vs. Compassion

  1. Lisa M. Boyd says:

    Life on life’s terms, will you still be joyous in when the ship is rocking? I had to learn this in my life. Life still happens, and in my life I have seen a lot of hardship. I had to choose to be happy, and help it build my character. Easier said than done, but much better then drowning in the sorrow. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Thank you for sharing about Ray Lammie, and his wisdom about being compassionate. Such an inspiring life!

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