The impact of life experiences on the expression of compassionate action in volunteers
This exploratory qualitative study considers the connection between life experience and compassion by conducting two virtual circle processes with volunteers located in Williams Lake, British Columbia. A network selection strategy was used to gather 10 participants, resulting in two circles with five volunteers each. The two virtual circle processes were recorded, then the dialogue was transcribed and analyzed for themes by means of narrative analysis. The definition of compassion used for this study is the ability to understand another’s suffering and the desire to relieve them of their suffering. The research conducted for this paper uses volunteers as participants to understand compassion in practical applications. Six themes were developed from the data and are as follows; connection, it feels good, volunteering modeled, religious anchor, common humanity and recognition of economic inequality. The six themes fit into three compassion cultivation domains, which I named self, soul and external.