We are compassionate when we are viscerally moved by someone else’s needs, when we make an effort to see the world through their eyes, and when we meet their needs on their terms.
Living compassionately requires us to concretely consider the ways in which we care for others and the world in which we live. Without compassion our actions are simply perfunctory. Without compassion personalism is a sham. Without compassion we impose on others, dehumanizing them. Conversely, being compassionate meets the actual needs of others, establishing a genuine relationship, and builds genuine community and good will.
In order to both clarify our thinking and enter into dialogue with others about this we wrote, *Little Exercises In Learning To Live A Compassionate Life: A Workbook.
Written from a dialogical perspective it draws out:
- The ways in which compassion is already a part of your life,
- Skills that are needed to learn to be and become more compassionate,
- Distractions that interfere with acting compassionately and,
- Hindrances and road blocks to compassion.
Useful for both private reflection and group discussion it is an evidence-based, participatory approach to carrying out both planning and action.
Revised in 2018 its simplified format was rewritten from psychological and social perspectives.
Successful retreats have been led using this material since 2002 in a wide variety of groups. Group reviews of the material itself have remained consistently high.
To order copies write to:
The Parkland Worker
R.R. 1, Box 60
Swan River, Manitoba R0L 1Z0
*© Copywritten material, all rights reserved, 40 pp., 19 reflective exercises
“Craig’s sensitive empathy does not lack a professional framework which gives his lessons status, strength, and way for the Spirit. It is a way which mirrors DeSales, Therese of Lisieux, and the Rule of Taize. Simpliity in the service of charity.”
Fr. Gary Young C.R., serving the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Nazareth, KY, USA
“…this is a wonderful addition to aid in my prayer and reflection. Each page deserves several days of reading and meditation, with challenging questions and much to aid in personal growth. I appreciate the blank pages to record my thoughts and inspirations.”
R. Searcy, Iowa, USA
“We see suffering everywhere in our world. Every time we watch TV or read the newspaper there are stories of suffering. In this booklet, the author invites everyone to reflect upon the role of compassion which helps make this world a more hospitable place for all.”
Sr. C Popes, P.B.V.M., Iowa, USA
“…the book was great! The exercises created space for quiet introspection and deeper understanding of what it is to be called to a life lived as part of the body of Christ.
I found it well laid out and I have been contemplating it all week, chewing on it: How is my life lived through meeting other’s needs where they are currently standing? In today’s world of intensive, tunnelled focus on ourselves and our individual wants, we have not left space or air for actively seeking to meet other’s needs – to see life from their perspective and that is such a cornerstone to our faith and very existence.”
S.W., Ft. McMurray, Alberta, Canada