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Identifying with another person is an essential process for human beings. It is commonly seen throughout the world as people adapt and change with new styles of clothing, language, behavior, etc., which is illustrated by infants that begin to mirror the facial expressions and body movements of their mother as early as the first days of their lives. This process is highly related to compassion because of the fact that sympathizing with others is possible with people from different countries, cultures, locations, etc. A possible source of this process of identifying with others comes from a universal category called, "Spirit". Toward the late 1970s, very different cultures and nations around the world took a turn to religious fundamentalism, which has occasionally been attributed to "Spirit". The more one person knows about the human condition and the associated experiences is another route to identification. The importance of identifying with others for compassion is contrasted by the negative physical and psychological effects of abandonment. Compassion seems to be characteristic of democratic societies. The role of compassion as a factor contributing to individual or societal behavior has been the topic of continuous debate. In contrast to the process of identifying with other people, A complete absence of compassion may require ignoring or disapproving identification with other people or groups. This concept has been illustrated throughout history, such as: The Holocaust, Genocide, European colonization of the Americas, etc. The seemingly essential step in these atrocities could be the defining of the victims as "not human" or "not us". The various atrocities that have been committed throughout human history have only been relieved through the presence of compassion. Suffering has been defined as the perception of a person's impending destruction or loss of integrity, which continues until the threat is gone or the person's integrity can be restored. Personality Psychology agrees that people are inherently different and distinct from one another, which should lead to the conclusion that human suffering is always individual and unique. Suffering can result from psychological, social, and physical trauma. Suffering appears to happen in acute forms as often as chronically. There is an inherent difficulty in knowing that someone else is suffering because of its lonely nature, which leads to the conclusion that many people may not know they are suffering. They may instead point to their external circumstances with the early stages of suffering being quiet or not discussed. The later stages may involve the person expressing their victimization and searching for help. Compassion is recognized through identifying with other people, the knowledge of human behavior, the perception of suffering, transfer of feelings, knowledge of goal and purpose changes in sufferers, and the absence of the sufferer from a group. A recent international survey suggests that compassion toward animals is correlated with compassion toward human beings. Earlier studies also established the links between interpersonal violence and animal cruelty. Compassion may have the ability to induce feelings of kindness and forgiveness, which could give compassion to have the ability to stop situations that occasionally lead to violence.
December 29th, 2012
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