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Passion and Compassion

Reflect on the relationship between passion and compassion.

Passion is one of the most powerful emotions a person can experience. When a person is passionate about something, such as work, the pursuit of knowledge, or attaining any particular goal, a person usually approaches life with a great and boundless enthusiasm.

Compassion, on the other hand, has more to do with how a person views the rest of the world than it does how a person feels about his or her own goals, ambitions, or desires. The feeling of compassion encompasses a deep empathy for other people. A compassionate person is one who is able to empathize with the emotions, feelings and experiences of another person and who also feels some sort of camaraderie with the other person. When a person is able to feel compassion for another, then he or she wants to share in that other person's suffering as well as the other person's victories.

A passionate person can only go so far if he or she does not take the plight of others into account. As John Donne said, many years ago, no man is an island. So if a person pursues happiness or work or even financial goals with great passion, but without taking into consideration how his or her actions may influence other people, then the passion is a self absorbed and isolated emotion which is not as likely to sustain its force if the person who experiences passion combines it with a feeling of compassion for others.

Compassion takes into account other human being, animals and even the environment as a whole. Thus, compassion seems to be a slightly more complex emotional state than passion because it, by definition, involves more than just one's self and one's own thoughts. A compassionate person realizes that passion alone will not do because human beings need each other to survive and that in some way, all people and all living beings on this planet are connected to each other.

For example, a person mig...

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Passion and Compassion. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:26, August 04, 2020, from