This essay is an assignment on the subject of The Day of Compassion. Part of the Coursera course; Social Psychology by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, United States.
This is my experience on a sunny Friday, September 6th 2013. I have defined the day to be my compassionate day. Right before I went to sleep the night before, I told myself what compassion is. I define compassion as caring for others that needs help. I will give either my money, time or energy to help without wanting any compensation. This is what I thought as the social-responsibility norm.
When I wake up the next morning, I plan to find anyone that need help. I imagine maybe I will stumble to a beggar or maybe someone that just lost her wallet, people in trouble or something else similar.
But I think again how will I met such persons like that? What are the odds of me helping someone? So I decide to go to work by public transportation. I was pretty confident that I will have many chances to show the compassionate me by riding bus. And since social psychology studies show that we will have higher chance if we are not hurried, I decided to take my time and observe the situation around me.
So I walk to nearest bus station. What I did not realize when I left home that morning is, my decision to set my heart to be compassionate somehow makes me looks more radiant with positive energy. I smile, my eyes twinkling and I walk suavely and confidently full of positive thought and wills.
Here I realized that the fact is, positive thoughts generate positive aura in me. And this is the effect of just the thought, I have not helped anyone yet.
The difference in my behavior today is that I am not hurried. I do not think a couple hours ahead. I enjoy my time. And I like this. I think I should really take my time everyday and stop being always in a hurried. Because it felt good. What makes it good is, I smile, I look at people. People greet me when I am not in hurried. I make conversations. And people tend to cheered up too. This positivity is contagious.
The psychological factor, that prevent this compassionate me from getting out probably is my own selfishness. What I want, what I need, all about me that clouding my mind so that I really not realized that I am part of this great community (Dalai lama, 1999).
By behaving compassionately I incurred no psychological cost. Instead, I benefited psychologically, because I feel happier. This is great, the benefit of course outweigh the cost definitely. Especially when people respond to my compassion by being compassion themselves. They being compassion to other people. They apparently noticed the difference in my behavior. The strangers mostly attribute this as my personality, and friends and family tend to suspect that I just hear a good news or getting something precious (gif, money, etc) that lift my mood up.
If I want to encourage others to behave as I did during the day of compassion, I will use connectedness as one of the psychological technique or what is known as intragroup dynamic. I will teach them the notion that each one of us is part of humanity (Dalai lama, 1999). By showing them how to be a compassionate person, and being compassionate ourselves will foster a more compassionate society.
I predict that in one month from now, my behavior will changed as the result of participating in the day of compassion. I will stop being in a hurry. Connect with people and my community and become compassionate person in a compassionate society.
Lama, Dalai. (1999). The Art of Happiness: A handbook for living. United Kingdom.
This essay unadjusted grade is 12.5 of 14 points. Which is simply the grade received from peers.
These are peer’s assessor comments about this essay:
peer 1 → I like it – I was smiling while reading it 🙂 Well done!
peer 3 → I liked the analysis, I wish you would write more about the impact on others.
peer 4 → Good analysis.
peer 5 → Great Job! I enjoyed reading this because it felt like it came from your heart and not just your mind. I liked the personal thoughts you added.
peer 6 → Woa! Amazing you! I am very interested in reading your thoughtful ideas about compassion and the day in which you have applied a lot of knowledge in social psychology into the reality. Congratulation on you and keep up this good job! 🙂