A whimsical and metaphorical approach to the meaning of compassion from J. Ruth Gendler’s (1984, p. 23) The Book of Qualities…
“Compassion wears Saturn’s rings on the fingers of her left hand. She is intimate with the life force. She understands the meaning of sacrifice. She is not afraid to die. There is nothing you cannot tell her.
Compassion speaks with a light accent. She was a vulnerable child, miserable in school, cold, shy, alert to the pain in the eyes of her sturdier classmates. The other kids teased her about being too sentimental, and for a long time she believed them. In ninth grade she was befriended by Courage.
Courage lent Compassion bright sweaters, explained the slang, showed her how to play volleyball, taught her you can love people and not care what they think about you.
In many ways Compassion is still the stranger, neither wonderful, nor terrible, herself, utterly, always.”