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“ The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”

Albert Schweitzer

The deepest need of all humans on an emotional level is to be loved. This can be most easily demonstrated by a show of compassion. Compassion, in its most literal definition, is the emotion we feel at the distress of others and the desire to alleviate that distress. But it is deeper than that and there is some scientific research to say that is linked to a deep-seated evolutionary purpose.

“Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.”


Compassion for one’s fellow man is to show that we can empathise with another’s plight and, where we can, do something about it. It is at the core of most religious and ethical philosophies across the world. The often cited Golden Rule –  Do to others what you would have them do to you.

“Compassion is the basis of morality.”

Arthur Schopenhauer

If you struggle with this concept, take a moment to think about Paul Ekman’s philosophy of Heroic Compassion, compassion without risk, which can cause impulsive action such as, without thought, leaping into a lake to rescue a drowning child. Would you not do that?

This belief in the ability to empathise and then do something about it, with word or action is the thing that makes you a true gentleman.

“Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.”

Hubert H Humphrey


A Gentleman’s Hint:

Do at least one of these actions in the next couple of weeks: Next time you see a homeless person out on the street, offer to purchase them some food, whether it be hot or cold. Ask them what they would like. Or find a place to volunteer, either at a hospice or an old people’s home or even an animal shelter.

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