Monday, April 20, 2015

Compassion at the Heart of Emotional Intelligence!

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I am certain that a lot of us have heard this before by Maya Angelou, ‘It is my observation that in the future, they will not remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel’.

Feelings are a part of the emotional repertoire and the next step after feelings are emotions, i.e. when I put that feeling into motion.

At the heart of Emotional Intelligence is Compassion. When we understand what compassion is in contrast to Compulsion, we understand what Maya Angelou says.

Compassion has an emotion attached to it and this emotion is different from the ‘think emotion’ that we so incessantly have all the time. When we think that we need to do something, it is not Compassion but compulsion and that is where most of us are caught up in, in today's world.

According to Wikipedia: ‘Compassion is the emotion that one feels in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help’.
And to that I add, ‘make a difference’!

Compulsion means: the action or state of forcing or being forced to do something’. Many a time, I attend functions that I don’t want to, do something that I don’t feel like or comply with actions that are not necessarily mine.

The force that Compassion has is internal, it is something from within that makes me want to make a difference and this gives me tremendous energy! When I am told to do something against my will the force is external, I do it more as a requirement and obligation rather than free will and this drains me.

This external force might be family, social pressures, environment, a boss or whoever!

From this we understand that both compassion and compulsion have a bodily response to an emotional action. I can differentiate my actions by the output that my body generates at the end of that action. I can feel the output through my body!

While this is applicable personally, the person on the other side of the fence who is a recipient of doer’s behaviour is also capable of recognizing whether the doer is being compassionate or is doing it out of compulsion.

All of us have in us the infinite wisdom to recognize motives; we can instinctively feel whether it is heart felt or head conceived!

When we act in compassion, we are acting from the spirit, when we act out of compulsion we are acting from the EGO.

Go ahead and make a conscious choice to celebrate the joy of the spirit rather than be bound by the drama of the EGO!
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