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Passion and Compassion

Comments have forced me to attempt to clarify my thoughts. The fine words in the comments.

Passion is described as: What is passion? It is surely the becoming of a person. Are we not, for most of our lives, marking time? Most of our being is at rest, unlived. In passion, the body and the spirit seek expression outside of self.

I think that most people only have rare moments of passion. And I would define passion as intense commitment to something outside oneself; defining oneself in terms of some outside entity or idea; pouring oneself into entity or idea. I think in true passion, you as an individual cease to exist and it is that outside entity or idea whose existence is paramount.

Compassion, on the other hand, is to me and inward change, an acknowledgement of others and bringing yourself into harmony with them; or helping them achieve harmony with the rest of society. Compassion is acknowledging another’s hurt or needs and working with them to find fulfillment. In compassion, you retain your identity and your own definition.

Passion is all about the journey; compassion about the destination. Passion will proclaim the one path, any multiple of times and be worried that the “right” path is not followed. Compassion does not care about the paths and will use multiple ways to ensure arrival. Also, I think that passion can be either good / bad for all concerned. I'm not sure that compassion could be bad.


I suppose that I’m particular about passion and compassion because I value individualism. I value the person that weighs options and choices what is best for him / her. I fear too often, I go with the wind or the current or the least opposition, and therefore value this trait in others.

I feel that true passion requires the sacrifice of the individual for the object of their passion. Compassion, however, strengthens the individual and requires a greater sense of self and values.

I have a friend whose parents are divorced, he lives with his dad, however he is controlled by his mother. If his mother should want the same as he, he will change his mind. If his mother wants him to go to college, he will join the military. If his mother were to rejoice in his joining the military, he would go to college or become an auto-mechanic.

He defines himself as the antithesis of his mother. I have had long talks with him on how he is letting his mother control him and define his life. He has trouble understanding that. I am what I have been and how I was raised and taught and shaped. However, I hold on to the hope that by understanding what has been done to me, or how I have been indoctrinated and programmed, that I can gain control of my decisions, my likes and dislikes and redefine myself.

I think compassion will help me to that end, while passion will not.
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