Monday, March 29, 2010

Compassion is a verb...

"Compassion: having a sense of deep sympathy and the heartfelt feelings of sorrow for someone hurting physically, mentally or emotionally. An unselfish need to reach out to help relieve the unfortunate misery of a person in need. The feeling of regret and pity showing a kind loving attitude."

Today at work I was chatting with my friend Andy about his new tattoo. And the conversation took a direction in which moved me deeply. As you can see below, this is my friend Andy

Andy works in our kitting department and will also be on the road this year with my husband attending Tattered Angels retail shows. Andy is such a fun loving guy, it is no wonder that so many of mine and James fond work stories involve him.

A few weeks ago, Andy came into work with his brand new tattoo that wrapped around his right bicep and tricep. Now I trust my friend, and know that this tattoo had to mean something special. Although I have to admit...I had no idea what the words nor what language they were in

At first, Andy told me that it was the word "Compassion" in a lot of different languages. And I thought, "Wow, that's cool" and thought of how awesome it is that Andy would choose a word like Compassion to decorate his body.

Today I had the opportunity to have Andy tell me the story of his tattoo. He referenced his tattoo to a Mens retreat that he had attended a few years back in which the speaker spoke of a bible verse (MATTHEW 9:36). This verse is discussed how Jesus is filled with compassion for the people as they were harassed, distressed, dejected and helpless (Amplified version). The meaning of compassion (greek-splagchnizomai) in this story is having the strongest feeling possible for someone deep down inside.

I love the definition that I found above that speaks of compassion as being the deepest feeling for someone with the result of needing to assist.

If there is one word that I would want to describe myself and my family it would be compassion. I feel there is no greater word that could describe a love so deep for humanity that it would literally move you to action. Feeling so strongly about something or someone that deep down inside of you is moved with this calling.

We Need This...

This verb that is completely selfless that altogether benefits the giver in absolutely no way is something that this world is hungry for. We need to look at each other in a new light. Seeking not what you can gain from the person next to you, yet openly give an outpouring love and respect with no expectations.

With Easter and Autism Awareness Month right around the corner, my heart is full of emotion and happiness. After today even more so than before, I want to share this feeling that literally resonates through me into my life and family.

So thanks to my friend Andy... for with his little story, it filled my heart. I can only hope that my heart is moved into action in some way, that I can share this feeling in action and help.

Like I said, compassion is a verb... it is meant to take action. And I can only hope I find a way to do so.



  1. Why is compassion so hard to define? Some people confuse it with "pity" or even "rescuing", but I think you have it right. Compassion is a combination of respect, empathy and ownership. When we can learn to practice it with ourselves and others it can transform every relationship we have. Thank you for posting this. http//

  2. Give Andy a huge hug and please tell him I think his Tattoo is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful story!
    Hugs Bonnie

  3. Love it.. and the fact that something comes from a young man who is willing to put it out there forever makes it even more inrteresting of a story. Everytime he is asked about his tattoo (I am sure there will be plenty of times), people will react the same way you have and each one of us reading your post has and will take steps to be more compassionate I am sure. He is literally changing the world one person at a time! Totally cool! Thanks Andy!

  4. Liz,

    Thank you for writing such a heart-felt blog. Andy is my nephew and I have always been so proud of him. He is such a kind and caring person. His choice of tatoos are such a great reflection of the person he is. Thank you so much for posting this.

  5. I agree, Andy is a great person and friend, I am so grateful that he is a part of our families lives.

  6. Totaly cool ;-)
    Fantastic blog! Looking forward to look around :-)

  7. It has a beautiful meaning and it is a beautiful work of art on his body.

  8. I had the opportunity to meet Andy in Mesa, AZ at the scrapbook convention. He has such a wonderful spirit and energy, I can see why his tattoo is a perfect fit for him. Meeting him, made my entire day!

  9. Laurie, thank you for taking the time to share. Andy is an amazing person that I am so grateful to call friend :) Glad you had the opportunity to meet him :)