Tears contain the power to change your direction and improve the lives of others.

Tears we shed are not always about our own hurts. They can be triggered in various situations. One special type of tear may well-up in special circumstances, I call them tears of compassion. These are precious and contain the power to change our direction and improve the lives of others.

Compassion [kuhm-pashuhn ]a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Origin of Tears of Compassion

My perspective is that these are special because they are not about us. They form first in our hearts and pool in our eyes. They flow because of the pain we see in the eyes of others.

The times we see or experience a serious problem hurting others triggers the heart. In turn, our mind begins thinking about how we might become part of the solutions. These tears solidify our resolve as we feel compelled to make things better. They can come when we least expect them. However, when they arrive, they cannot be ignored. In fact, they may be the sign that change is coming.

Each tear of compassion contains seeds with the power to change someone’s tomorrow.

Time for Action

These tears signal we are prepared to act. They provide us with special energy to help overcome obstacles that once seemed impossible. We may now feel empowered to have a crucial conversation, stand up for those who cannot do it for themselves, or start a new venture. When we feel convicted something is wrong and we are part of the answer, we have become ready to make a difference.

Our responsibility as leaders is to respond to them in the way we were designed. Feeling compassion is our call to action. As we act, we find a purpose that is meaningful to us and helpful to others. Three questions we can ask of ourselves may help us take the next step:

  • What is that one thing that breaks your heart making you think, “I wish I could change it?”
  • Could you form a group to address the problem you want to solve?
  • Who else feels the same way as you do that could help?

These special tears can drive us to accomplish remarkable things! They are what connect us. They are why we know it is important. Tears of compassion come from deep in our souls which is what gives them such power to make a change.

Eric Peterson currently serves as technical program manager for a Fortune 500 Financial Services Company in Denver, Colorado.  In addition to his job, he volunteered to form a team that employed servant leadership principles to architect a sustainable model supporting 730 employees.  The community encourages staff driven initiatives in areas that include innovation, fellowship, and personal development.  He earned a BS in Finance from the University of Nebraska and a MA from Webster University in Information Technology and Resource Management. He is a values-centered leader that equips people to lead more effectively through employing servant leadership principles.  He also writes a weekly blog on leadership and team building found at www.shepherdingheart.com.

Image courtesy of Alex Green.