From his Psychology Today blog, Am I Right? How to live ethically, Arthur Dobrin riffs on some ways we can look at compassion, coming up with 13 (my favorite number).
Humanity is realized in compassion and justice.
1. You are part of society.
Therefore, happiness is created through compassionate living.
2. Compassion is part of human nature.
Cultivate the compassionate part of yourself and connect to others.
3. Reason is part of human nature.
Cultivate the reasonable part of yourself so you make sound decisions.
4. Compassion is part of human nature. Reason is part of human nature.
Therefore, make no separation between heart and mind. Emotion and reason, feeling and thought — all that is human.
5. Compassion and thoughtfulness lead to good deeds.
6. You realize your humanity in compassion and justice.
7. A corrupt heart rattles with greed.
8. You may reside in another's heart even at a distance.
The greater reward is hearts in close contact.
9. If your heart is acquisitive, you will lead a life of disappointment.
If your heart is generous, your life will be satisfied.
10. Listen with an open mind.
Listen with an open heart. Let the other in. This is the way of respect.
11. A closed fist can't offer a helping hand.
A closed heart can't find fellow-feeling.
12. You cannot know peace if your heart if full of bitterness.
13. A fearful heart cannot feel compassion.