5 easy ways to show compassion

Sometimes we mistakenly think we have to do BIG things to prove we’re compassionate people. But we can show compassion in small, everyday things and still make a difference.

Here are 5 easy ways to practice compassion in our ordinary lives.

1. Accept


Receive others as they are, where they are, and what they have to give. A lady that frequents Manna House asked me last week if I liked to read (me? of course!), so she gave me this book she loved (isn’t the title appropriate?). Even though I’m not a big fiction reader, I couldn’t refuse her gift of kindness.

Accept the gifts others give; it shows you value the giver.

2. Hope


Sometimes we need help getting up for a challenge. My new friend was visibly sad; her dad died on January 3 and she was missing him terribly. He’d sexually abused her in the past, so in the midst of her grief was the burden of forgiveness she still wanted to extend. She needed to hear hope from someone else that with God all things are possible, and that it would get better.

Plant hope in someone else that spring will return again.

3. Funnel

compassion reading list

Take in good stuff, then pass it along to others. I’ve been reading from these giants of compassion lately. We can’t share all that we see and read, but we can filter the best of it to others.

Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear; only love can do that. Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Be a funnel; pour out what’s been poured into you.

4. Tend


Take care of someone or something. A child, a friend, a pet, a plant. It’s been colder than normal here in the South so we keep stuffing extra hay in Kandie’s house and trading in her ice bowl for one that’s liquid.

Spread love to all living things around you.

5. Comment


Your words count more than you know (offline and online). When you leave a comment on a blog that uses reCAPTCHA (I don’t, so I’m not fishing for comments here), you’re not only being compassionate to the blogger, but you’re also helping digitize a book. Luis von Ahn designed reCAPTCHA to use those letters you type as a method to authenticate words that computers can’t read, and thus digitize books. Over 10 million words a day, 2 ½ million books a year, one word at a time–you do something as a human that a computer still can’t do.

Listen to this TED talk to learn more about it.

Communicate compassion because you can; you still can do what computers cannot.

* * *

How have you shown compassion this week? How has compassion been shown to you? Please share.


12 thoughts on “5 easy ways to show compassion

  1. floyd

    Awesome post and wisdom, Lisa. I’m publishing a post I wrote a few months back today about what happened to me the day I was tested and then remembered your words. I’ve linked it to your site. Thanks for always being an encouragement, even when you don’t even know it. Blessings to you and your family, sister.

  2. tcavey

    I had no idea about the reCAPTCHA. I still don’t completely understand it, but it sounds like a good thing.

    Wonderful tips. So many ways to edify others. This life isn’t about us, it’s about others. About love. God’s love and God’s love wants to GIVE.

  3. Renee

    Really good….I like the funnel idea very much…we know we are to share what we learn with ideas but seeing ourselves as a funnel is a powerful image. Thanks for sharing how God touched your heart this month.

  4. Patty

    I love reading your posts on Thursdays. What a blessing to think through these five easy ways to show compassion. I will share this with my boys today. You inspire.

  5. Trudy

    Visiting from Faith Barista… Thanks for sharing these beautifully compassionate ideas, Lisa. I LOVE the photo of bulbs springing up. HOPE! I’m so sorry for your friend, but I’m grateful she has a compassionate friend like you.

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