The definition of compassion is the sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. It literally means to “suffer together.” Many times we are caught up in our own concerns that we lose sense of what others around us may be coping with. Try not to make it all about you.
I think we would all like to be remembered as a person who was kind and thoughtful but this does not happen without effort. Articles have been written discussing how compassion is not being instilled in our children. Some suggest meditation may help us see life from a different perspective. Stay involved with others. With lung disease, it is easy to think you can’t do something because you will get short of breath but don’t use that as an excuse to avoid social interaction. Getting short of breath is uncomfortable but you will recover. Using pursed lip breathing and increasing your oxygen flow when active puts you in control. It might take a little extra time to get from the parking lot into the restaurant, but you are sure to enjoy a meal with family and friends when you get there! Don’t avoid it. Volunteer at your local library. If you have a hobby you enjoy, share or teach it to young people. Helping others takes the focus away from worrying about your own situation and will only make you feel happier in the long run!
Our friend John Goodman, who has inspired us with many articles in The Pulmonary Paper, recently lost his son Jason to cancer. Jason, a respiratory therapy like his Dad, leaves happy memories for his family to cherish. They are all in our hearts.