St Francis of Assisi is not just the founder of the Franciscan order, but also the patron saint of animals and the environment. He is a living tradition and inspiration to many, including Pope Francis who chose his name to honor him. His virtue is compassion, and what time of the year would be better to show compassion to those around you than the Christmas season? Here is some inspiration on how to do so:
See yourself in others
Sometimes it can be hard to put yourself in the position others are in, and it is easy to get impatient if you do not understand their struggles behind their actions. Show empathy, and find out how you can help. Instead of pointing out what others have done wrong, look at yourself first and realize that everyone has their own hardships.
Match your verbal and non-verbal emotions. It is okay to cry when sad, and laugh out loud when happy. A good laugh can be healing, not just for you, but those around you. A smile can make someone’s day.
During the holiday season everyone gets very busy. In between finding the perfect present, organizing trips to spend time with family, and making delicious food, those less fortunate are easily forgotten. Whether you go to an animal shelter to give dogs the cuddles and love they deserve, or volunteering at a food bank to give to those who can’t afford a big Christmas meal, spending time to help others not only brings joy to their lives – but also to yours.
Kindness is one of the easiest ways to show compassion. When you are in a bad mood it seems so easy to be rude to those around you to let off some steam. Showing kindness instead though is so much more rewarding. Do you want to be the person who ruined someone’s day, or the person who made it a great one? Sometimes just a kind word can influence many people around you.