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3 Simple Ways to Be More Compassionate

By Mormon.org
Meme: Kindness is the essence of greatness. Joseph B. Wirthlin

From the time we’re young, we’re taught to treat others how we want to be treated, to be kind and compassionate, and to share and help out where we can. But knowing and doing are two very different things. What do you do when you just aren’t in the mood to help your neighbor? What do you do when it’s hard to be kind?

Here are a few suggestions for when being helpful and nice aren’t so easy.

1. Pray for It

First of all, you have to want it. And if you want to change, a good place to start is to pray for help. The Book of Mormon prophet Mormon taught that charity, or the pure love of Jesus Christ, is a gift from God. He wrote, “Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love” (Moroni 7:48).

2. Hold Your Tongue

A great place to start practicing kindness is the age-old maxim “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Resist the urge to criticize or mock others out loud or in online communications. It may not stop you from thinking negative things about a person, but this one step will make a huge difference and can lead to long-term change.

3. Do Something Nice

Finally, find a way to do something nice for someone. It can start as small as smiling at people or holding the door for the person behind you. When you start looking for opportunities to practice kindness and offer help, you may be surprised by what you find.

These suggestions are simple, but that doesn’t mean that following them will always be easy. Like anything worthwhile, developing compassion takes practice. Elder Richard G. Scott taught, “We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.” The more we can follow these steps, the more our hearts will change for the better.