Essay Sample on 12 Steps to Compassion: Learn, Listen, Love Your Enemies

Published: 2023-06-29
Essay Sample on 12 Steps to Compassion: Learn, Listen, Love Your Enemies
Type of paper:  Literature review
Categories:  English literature Literature
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 937 words
8 min read


The twelve steps to compassion by Armstrong start with learning and end with loving one's enemies. In between, the author suggested the need for the kindness of oneself, mindfulness, sympathetic joy, suffering, the limits of knowledge of other people, and concern for every person. Armstrong suggested the need to enhance compassion and to actualize it in every aspect of one's life. In addition to that, she provides a list that encourages people to listen to other people's narratives. One day, as recorded in my diary, I spent the day having fun with my friends. Some of the day's activities included going out for shopping, to a park, and later to a club. I believe the day was well-spent part of an occurrence where I argued with my friend over differences in opinion and belief. However, this paper describes how better and different I would have spent my day using the steps of compassion expressed by Armstrong. As discussed, the fact that I engaged in a confrontation due to differing beliefs was not an act of kindness, and instead, I would have engaged in an intellectually healthy debate.

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As a practitioner of compassion, I would have done things differently on this day. First, I would have studied and understood the concepts to familiarize myself with the different theories of compassion. By doing so, I would be more tolerant to one friend that we argued and differed in opinion on that day. On that day, my friend happened to make a joke that did not work so well with me. When we went out shopping, my friend claimed that my way of dressing was outdated. Somehow, I felt as if he insulted me and I rudely replied causing an argument before the other friends intervened to calm the situation. I ought to have put myself in my friend's shoes and understand the fact that he is outspoken. Been outdated in my way of dressing was just his idea since other people frequently complimented my style. I also would have to be aware of the mindfulness meditation technique that enables a person to familiarize himself or herself with the varying nature of emotions.

Consequently, my attitude would have been different if I was a practitioner of compassion. Being compassionate is similar to developing empathetic feelings to others. In most cases, it entails the desire to act in a way that alleviates the suffering of another person. Sharing in one's suffering enhances the motivation to relieve others of their misery. In addition to that, compassion also entails kindness, caring, and willingness to assist others. Having empathy means trying to fit in the shoes of another. With this definition of compassion in mind, I learned that being compassionate does not entail getting into fights or verbal attacks with others because of their characters. Compassionate involves an appreciation for diversity and the different beliefs of others. Such variety has a role to play in making the world both remarkable and exciting. The argument that I had with my friend would be comical for a practitioner of compassion since it is a difference in opinion. We had debating viewpoints on what kind of dressing is termed fashionable. Hence, the conversation would have turned to become intellectually healthy and even enjoyable to some extent. The fact that we became combative verbally differed from debating, which is advocated for in the twelve steps to compassion. Humans are thinking creatures hence making them prone to various kinds of opinion. My attitude has changed, and I have learned that variances in view should be appreciated and not demonized. Thus, if given a chance to turn the day's occurrence around, I would not have fought with my friend but rather understand the differences in opinion and engage in an intellectually healthy debate and conversation.

Such differences would emanate since avoiding any forms of confrontations and appreciating the differences in opinion is an act of compassion. When I engaged in a verbal fight, I seemingly advocated for the need for withheld thoughts, and I demeaned outspokenness attributes. I know that I am not the kind of person to make comments that would likely hurt other people willingly or unwillingly. Hence, that is the primary reason why I felt as if my friend had insulted me with the comment he made. Primarily, this shows that we both have different opinions and characters as well. Not every person in the world is the same. With this in mind, Armstrong designed the twelve steps to compassion as a means of encouraging and teaching people how to live and tolerate each other. Also, the twelve steps of compassion advocate for the need to fit in the shoes of others, mindfulness, and using every opportunity to advance one's knowledge. From this, it is clear that my reaction on that day suppressed all these steps towards compassion. Therefore, one can see why there exist differences in my response before and after learning the twelve steps to compassion by Armstrong.


In conclusion, the twelve steps to compassion describe the measures that one could undertake towards appreciating diversity. By following these techniques, the world would become peaceful and with fewer quarrels. On one occasion, I quarreled with my friend since I thought he insulted me by claiming that my fashion was outdated. However, I failed to appreciate the fact that his claims were his opinions, and every individual was entitled to their opinion. After studying the steps to compassion, I learned the need to appreciate diversity, and any forms of disagreements or differing views should be an opportunity for an individual to learn and value diversity.

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