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Hurricane Sandy: The Power of Compassion

hurricane compassionIn the past few years we’ve seen a number of natural disasters. The latest being Hurricane Sandy and at the time of writing this post, we haven’t even seen the extent of damage that will occur. For those of us who aren’t in the eye of the storm, if we are mindful of it for a moment a naturally occurring healing element of compassion begins to emerge. Compassion is the feeling of imagining ourselves in another’s shoes with an inclination to help.

The Dalai Lama said, “It’s not enough to be compassionate, you must act.

Here we are presented with that very opportunity not only for the healing of others, but perhaps surprisingly for ourselves too.

Engaging in compassionate action simply makes us feel connected to something greater than ourselves which ultimately gives us a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

This is a core element of feeling well.

First start by kindling that feeling by putting your judgments aside for a moment and engaging in the following practice of compassion:

  1. Take a moment to picture all those 60 million people who are projected to be directly impacted by this storm.
  2. Imagine the human experience of emotional and potentially physical suffering that they are experiencing.
  3. Putting your hand on your heart, saying, “May you feel safe and protected, May you feel at ease, May you be free from any arresting fear.”

From this place, know that emergency responders are gathering right now and you may feel inclined to give to a variety of organizations that will be there to help heal this imminent disaster.

When you choose an organization you can vet them by going to places like Giving Alliance, Guidestar or Charity Navigator which examine cost-efficiency of responding organziations.

Give, Give, Give…either with your time and service or with money to support others who are giving time and service. It will not only support those who need it, but will also make you feel good because you’re living alongside your values.

This is a time to come together, exercise compassion and put it into action.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Boarding up window photo available from Shutterstock

Hurricane Sandy: The Power of Compassion

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is creator of the six month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind, the premier eCourse Basics of Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community for free Daily Now Moments and a Weekly Newsletter. Dr. Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles.

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APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2012). Hurricane Sandy: The Power of Compassion. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 11, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Oct 2012
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