Are people that have suffered the most, the most compassionate

Hello readers. I have to admit I am not a big fan of internet quotes. I think they often come across as sugary sweet or a little bit patronising. Even when the quote was originally spoken with love and feeling, seeing them splatterd all over facebook and to a lesser extent twitter still annoys me.
One quote that particularly got my attention recently was this.


On the face of it this is a beautiful sentiment, but as someone who has suffered a fair amount of shite over the years, I think its over simplistic at best. When I thought about what its saying, it appears (to me) to make two big statements.
Firstly that all people who have suffered hardship and suffering become kind compassionate people and second that people cannot be kind and compassionate without having suffered.

Can People Be Compassionate Without Ever Having Suffered Hardship?

The last line of that quote “beautiful people do not just happen” infers that people need to have suffered hardship to be extraordinarily compassionate.
It can be said that nearly everyone will go through some sort of difficult times or will have hardships of some sort during their lives, and to some extent this is certainly true.
If asked, most people can name a time or two in their lives when things have been tough but not everyone who has done so would say that they have truly ‘suffered’.
I know many people who have lived fairly normal lives. They have never experienced trauma, illness, or poverty and yet they still have beautiful hearts.
They put themselves out for other people often at the expense of themselves. They see other peoples pain, and although they may not have experienced similar themselves, they still sympathise and do what they can to help ease that pain.
In my own line of work, we often say that a carer is something you are, rather than simply a job. That desire to care for people is something that is innate to some people, and not something that is shaped by experience.

Are All People Who Have Suffered Hardship Compassionate?

I have said before in my blog that I love Twitter because it has allowed me to connect with people who understand what its like to be a bit mental. These people, my online friends are beautiful people and they are people that have and are suffering from anxiety, depression and other mental health problems. But I would not say that their kindness and compassion are a result of their struggles. It has certainly shaped their understanding and empathy yes, but I honestly believe they would be just as kind and compassionate without their individual struggles.

Whats more, not everyone I know who has had a hard life has turned out to be a beautiful person. Hardship and struggle can make people bitter and twisted. I was married to a man who had some bad things happen to him in his life. This left him with a sense that the world owed him. Anything and everything that he did wrong in life could be excused by the fact that he had a bad start in life.

Even when hardship doesn’t turn someone ‘bad’, it is certainly no guarantee they will develop a compassionate disposition. The following article was written by a woman who use to suffer from depression. I think the title of the article tells you everything about her attitude towards those who are still suffering from the illness If You Want To Beat Depression, Do What I Did Just Get A Grip.
I have personally encountered this attitude many times. People who manage their depression and/or anxiety so therefore think everyone else should be able to do the same. These people are worse than those who naturally lack compassion because they hold themselves up as proof that people should be able to get over it, and people who aren’t doing so are simply not trying hard enough.

Maybe I am wrong for viewing this quote as something less than positive?
Maybe you are wondering why I have spent my time writing a post about something as insignificant as an internet quote when I could have as easily just passed, and probably you are right.
But these quotes are designed to make us think, and this is where my thoughts led me.

Are you a fan of quotes like this? Do you think I have over thought this one?

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  1. Ched Curtain

    September 15, 2018 at 12:23 am

    I have to admit I’m the worst when ailing but it depends on the kind of suffering. There’s the kind that still has me in shock almost three years later (death of my nephew) and the kind that makes me often grumpier than I should be (forced to stand too long on bad knee days) but I have literally stood between two people, both in wheelchairs in the locker room who had night and day attitudes. The woman who was more tolerant and friendly is very well liked and seems a lot happier than the other lady who is not so happy and has a chip on her shoulder. Although I understand why that chip is there and don’t know how the happy lady does it.

  2. mummymadness75

    December 2, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    You’ve raised an interesting point here, and I have had a fair amount of crap happen to me over the years. This does, of course, make me more compassionate and understanding – but I would like to think I still had those qualities before it happened x

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      December 2, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      Yes, those things are a part of us x

  3. thefrugalbrownwitch

    November 30, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    I think people can be born compassionate, as in it can be a trait that is innate in certain people, such as some of these Star Children coming through now.
    Sometimes hardship can turn people hard and they become jealous of people rather than compassionate. I guess at the end of the day it depends on the person and their disposition… maybe?

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 30, 2015 at 9:33 pm

      Yes I agree, hardship can enhance compassion or bitterness but it cant alter someone’s natural disposition xx

  4. Vix at AnotherMumInLondon

    November 30, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I love that you have found beautiful people via twitter who have reached out to you with their own experiences. Since becoming a mum and finding more ‘online’ friends I have found that virtual friendship has its very own and valuable place in my ‘friends’.
    I absolutely agree that suffering doesn’t automatically make them a more compassionate person. That comes from being a good and decent person.
    Thankyou for hosting #abitofeverything
    Vix x

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 30, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Yes, twitter is a fabulous place for connecting with people who can understand and empathise with you, whether its mental health, parenting or any other problems xx

  5. The Speed Bump

    November 30, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Totally agree with you – I’ve had people tell me that I’m compassionate because of what I’ve been through. Um, no, I’m compassionate because I’m a decent person, just like all the compassionate people who’ve had relatively idyllic lives so far! You can be a nice person without bad stuff happening, and you can be a horrible person if you’ve been through trauma! Really well said xx #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 30, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      Yes, that is exactly how I feel too xx

  6. bipolarbirdy89

    November 30, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    well said. to be compassionate doesn’t mean you have to of suffered anything you are being a kind person and its how you are. well said. xx

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 30, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you xx

  7. agentspitback

    November 30, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Well said Tracey! I think it’s more than experiences that make a person…you’re right, too simplistic and too general.

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 30, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Agreed my dear xx

  8. Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks

    November 29, 2015 at 5:30 am

    Hardship or not doesn’t make you more or less compassionate, you as a person is what makes you compassionate. Yes maybe if you’ve suffered a particular hardship you may be more sympathetic or have more understanding for someone in that position, but you don’t need to go through something to have compassion. Definitely not!

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 29, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Everyone is in agreement here xx

  9. modernbellelife

    November 28, 2015 at 3:21 am

    I agree that the sentiment behind this one is flawed. I think that depending on what you want to take from each quote, you can either find value or not. While diving deeper this one is flawed. But it might also encourage people to be more gentle with others rather than assuming that some are just weak (as that can be associated with people who are compassionate and gentle).

    Thanks for linking! #AnythingBut

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 30, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Yes, that is sometimes a misconception about compasionate people xx

  10. mrsmumnz

    November 26, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I totally agree with your line of thinking. I thought myself that I know some people who have had hard times and they’re quite bitter and rather uncompassionate. And I’m rather lucky in that I’ve never really experienced really tough times and yet I would love to save every single person who suffers. I may not truly understand the depths of their struggles but my imagination can get me part way there and that’s enough.
    I often scroll straight past quotes on social media. They lose all meaning in the one click sharing people are so often quick to do. I love that you’ve taken so much time and thought over this one. You are one thoughtful soul.

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 26, 2015 at 11:43 am

      The joys of being an over thinker, it helps a lot when it comes to writing blog posts xx

  11. K's Mum

    November 26, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Not really a big fan of quotes though sometimes I don’t mind seeing some especially if I just want something to inspire me but, you made very good points on this one. 🙂 #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 26, 2015 at 7:22 am

      They can be a source of comfort or inspiration and thats cool. Xx

  12. Meagan's Mum Project (@mumproject)

    November 25, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    You are right, this quote is too simple. People are not black and white, some people will be compassionate because of their understanding of hardships from past experiences while other people are compassionate because they have always been a giving person. Compassion can stem from anywhere, and this quote states that it can only be from one place, which doesn’t make any sense. People are very random and cannot be calculated based on behaviour or experience or personality. People change and grow and change back again, you can never be sure where exactly they are going or where they have been, which is why you should never judge anyone!

  13. Kirsty

    November 25, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Wow, what a thoughtful blog post and totally spot on!
    Every single person is different and therefore will react to situations in different ways.
    A group of people going through the same suffering will not necessarily come out the other side as beautiful, compassionate people as this post seems to suggest – some might, some might not. Similarly, a group of people who are lucky enough not to have lived through any significantly difficult situations in their lives will not automatically lack in compassion!
    This quote certainly makes impossible assumptions on groups of people!

    KT xo

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 25, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      The quote is certainly ill thought out, and yes huge assumptions made about what shapes peoples behaviour and attitudes xx

  14. This Mum's Life

    November 25, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Oh Tracey, this is so brilliant, and thought provoking! I must admit, that I saw this quote on your facebook page, and thought, ‘ooooh, that’s a great quote!’ then saw the title of the post and thought, ‘oh god, I’m glad I didn’t comment what I was thinking!’ But I was just taking it at face value, and reading this post, has made me see it for what it really is, an absolute load of tosh! The arguments you put forward are impossible to refute!! I’m not a big user of quotes, but usually stop and have a read at the ones that appear on my fb feed. I’ll look at them in a whole new way now!! I am using a quote on my new blog header though… I hope you won’t hate it!!

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 25, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      When i first saw the quote my initial reaction was ah thats quite nice, and its only when I thought about it (as an over thinker) that it began to grate on me more and more.
      If the quote you chose is something you believe in, im sure I will like it too xx

  15. pinkpearbear

    November 25, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Oh I hate quotes like this, often they are pukey platitudes and some don’t even make sense! This one annoys me for the same reason it does you, I know some lovely people who have had lovely lives and met some horrid people who blame everything on things that have happened to them in their past and taken no responsibility for their behaviours. I probably see about one in five quotes like this that I like. I do like the funny ones though!

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 25, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      The funny and sarcastic ones are great.

  16. debsrandomwritings

    November 25, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Tracey, I am not a fan of these types of quotes, they are designed to test peoples gag reflexes (or is that just me?).

    Our experiences in life do help to mould us into the people we are or become, but not everyone will react in the same way to hardship or having a loving family. If only it were that easy to predict a persons personality traits through their life experiences!


  17. An imperfect Mum (@animperfectmum)

    November 25, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I love quotes and have a words of wisdom post every week but this one is simply crap! I read it as saying only people who’ve gone through shit in their life can be beautiful. What a load of old rubbish. But perhaps I am oversimplifying it.
    I think that going through crap can give you a different view on life but it very much depends on the person. Some people become bitter and others become more positive.

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 25, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      Thats the way I interpreted it too xx

  18. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap)

    November 25, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I agree with this and think that quote is bull. I have met some amazing people who are just gorgeous down to the core – better people than me and who I aspire to be like. They have never had really bad stuff happen; they are just lovely! Sometimes these quotes are written without a decent thought at all!! Thanks for linking with #bestandworst and see you soon x

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 25, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      I can see why the author of this quote may have come to that conclusion give her work with bereaved people, but it does not make it true xx

  19. martynkitney

    November 25, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Great post and very thought provoking!
    I think it’s completely possible to be compassionate to others without going through hardships and the quote belittles the efforts and good work they do because they haven’t. What I do think though is it boiling down to sympathy and empathy. But great traits that offer compassion but both different in what that person has or has not experienced. You also have those who have hardened with bitterness and with that aren’t compassionate at all. I think these quotes are nice but I agree that they’re limited and patronising to many. #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      Yes, I agree that suffering can add a depth of understanding that isnt always possible if you havent shared the same situation (like us mental peeps) but the basics of compassion are innate i believe xx

  20. Habiba

    November 25, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Thank God, I thought I was the only one getting nauseous when I come across internet quotes (the “sweet ones that is. I’m all for a sarcastic meme!). Recently I saw one about your daughters being your princesses or something and my God, I swear I felt tasted some acid reflux in my mouth. Can people just KEEP IT REAL? (rant over!) #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 25, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Oh yes, the family ones are in a saccharine category all of their own…..bleugh

  21. Rachel

    November 25, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Totally get this. Personally, I think that sometimes, the more hardship and trauma one has been through, can make the individual less compassionate and a little hardened (not always of course). #bestandworst xxx

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 25, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Yes, you can get that ‘what are you complaining about, you dont know suffering, im the one who has really suffered’ attitude x

  22. Ann GrubbsnCritters

    November 25, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Ahhh! I’m enlightened that you don’t like quotes. Now I know. 🙂 I’m a fan of quotes, especially the funny, sarcastic ones. As for the deeper ones, I guess it only becomes relateable only when it speaks to you as it means different things to different people. Some quotes can be obvious nonsense. The quote you posted above, I actually find it a bit condescending. Some people are just born beautiful, isn’t that just enough?

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 25, 2015 at 10:58 am

      Oh I am quite happy to read funny and sarcastic quotes. 😀

  23. Anna Brophy

    November 25, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Oh dear…maybe I am a little shallow, but I like them, normally. Once you pointed all this stuff out to me in this one; well, yes, it is certainly trite and possibly a little offensive. I guess you take what you will. I believe the people who post them have gotten something special from that particular quote at that given moment. That’s pretty important. I will keep my eyes a little more open now. Thanks #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 25, 2015 at 4:27 am

      Oh you are not shallow at all. When people get comfort or inspiration from these quotes, thats a good thing. Its the curse of being an over thinker that makes me examine things like this xxx

  24. absolutely prabulous

    November 25, 2015 at 12:10 am

    Well I do love a good quote and peppered my Life Lessons post with them ha ha. But THIS quote I do. NOT. LIKE. I couldn’t agree with you more on all you’ve said and love what Freakinmery said too. Beautiful people don’t just happen? How completely bloody depressing! #abitofeverything

  25. mackenzieglanville

    November 25, 2015 at 12:56 am

    I don’t think you have over thought it, or maybe that’s because I am an over thinker lol, on the surface it seems like a good quote, but you are right, it is pretty crappy, I have known both extremes, an abusive ex who was bitter from his hardships and a beautiful husband who had an idillic life, so I think it can work both ways. My mum had a horrible childhood, and suffered severe poverty and even lived as an orphan for a while, yet it turned her into the most beautiful mother I could have (even if she drives me mad sometimes). I love that you explored this quote! I love quotes, but this will make me think a little deeper now. Thanks for hosting a great link up too x

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 25, 2015 at 4:23 am

      The benefits of being an over thinker…it gives you loads of potential blog material xx

  26. randommusings29

    November 25, 2015 at 12:28 am

    I think people can be compassionate without having suffered something yourself. You might not fully understand the situation, but you are still able to understand that someone is upset. Thanks for hosting #abitofeverything

    1. randommusings29

      November 27, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Popping back again from #AnythingBut 🙂

  27. Mama Zen

    November 24, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    A very thought provoking post (Not over-thought) A really well written post. Thank-you for hosting #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 10:36 pm

      Thank you, and thanks for joining in the linky xx

  28. Robyn

    November 24, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    I don’t have a problem with motivational or inspirational quotes on facebook etc, there’s even the odd one I quite like. But I do tend to take them at face value (which is probably the intention of the poster, most of the time). They capture my attention for a couple of seconds, then on to the next thing. I really appreciate that you’ve done the hard work and unpacked this one for me – every point you’ve made is bang on. Perhaps this will inspire me to stop and question more of these types of quote instead of lazily accepting them as truth. #abitofeverything

  29. newmummyblogcom

    November 24, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    I agree, on pretty much all your points, yes there are quotes everywhere, and I think even the people posting and sharing perhaps don’t always think them through completely. I don’t think you have to have suffered to be compassionate. There are instances where people who have suffered feel they are owed everything in return… or only live through the past. Great post.
    Thanks for hosting #abitofeverything

  30. aislingozdemir

    November 24, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    I hate these throwaway internet quotes too, especially when accompanied by a picture of marilyn or Lennon or someone who definitely did not say it. People are people..made up of a combination of nature, nurture and random shit…they are not defined by their past unless like your ex, they allow themselves to be. Great read #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      You mean to tell me that those people didnt actually say those things?? What about the Minions quotes, they must be real 😉

  31. yummymummystyleblog

    November 24, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    I’m a compassionate person after what I’ve been through in my childhood but I remember being that way before things happened so I don’t agree with this quote. I’m not saying I’m a perfect person because I’ve had issues over the years with the things that happened. It did change me and my personality but I’m still the same good person with a big heart that I was then. My mum was abused as a child. Me my brother and stepdad had to deal with a lot from her for many years and I always take what happened and ensure my children will NEVER experience the things I saw. I never experienced what she did so I can’t understand a lot of the decisions she made, all I know is my kids won’t see anything like that. As for the quotes I agree that they are over used. I use some in my blog posts I find them therapeutic when I’m down to describe how I feel and it sort of helps but I don’t post lots of them. I keep them on pinterest. Thanks for another great read and also for Hosting #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      Im sorry you had a tough time as a child. Abuse is something that seams to often bring out the best or the worst in a person

  32. reimerandruby

    November 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I’m not a fan of quotes either although I sometimes look into them for inspiration… I don’t think to become a beautiful and compassionate person has something to do with how your life had been lived before. People are just unique in their own ways no matter what their history was. Well written post! #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      Thank you, it seams like everyone so far is in agreement xx

  33. Becky (And Then There Were Two)

    November 24, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    I completely agree with you regarding this quote: I thought the exact same things as you as soon as I read it. I do actually love quotes myself because I am a very idealistic, romanticising person (who does not behave in an ideal way on a daily basis – must try harder!). However, I keep these quotes to myself (meaning my Pinterest quotes board) and I don’t plaster them all over Facebook. I just think if you have to say it and share it so publicly, are you actually trying to prove something? Thanks for hosting #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      Quotes do have their place, and can be a comfort for some. Im just an old cynic 😉

  34. wendy

    November 24, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Very interesting read. I agree with most of what you said, I know people how are very kind and compassionate and they have led perfectly happy lives and I know people who have been through a lot and are beautiful people but they were kind and compassionate before hand as well. I have also known ‘the world owes me a favour’ type people. I don’t really like internet quotes, sometimes they make me think but most of the time I just scroll past.xx #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      Usually I am a scroller, but this particular one came up on my timeline the same day as I had read the article from the woman who told us to just ‘get over’ depression. The two things were so at odds with one another that it prompted this post x

  35. Jess Powell (Babi a Fi)

    November 24, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    I definitely think it just depends on the individual – some people have beautiful hearts regardless of what they’ve been through, others just… haven’t. #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      I love the way you ended that sentence, very diplomatic 😀 xxx

  36. Silly Mummy

    November 24, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Yes, I tend to find a lot of quotes that people are fond of online (usually what they see as ‘inspirational’) a little trite. I am a massive fan of quotes & using quotes, but I tend to favour the funny and clever ones mostly.

    I entirely agree that people who have not suffered much can be very compassionate. Also that people who have suffered may not be and, indeed, it is not at all uncommon for bad things happening to people to have the opposite effect. Especially things in childhood, since we often learn how to behave from what happens to us, meaning that there is often a cycle of negative behaviour. People repeat what happened to them because that is how they learn to behave. The bullied can often become the worst bullies of others. And, as you say, some people simply allow bitterness to take a grip because what happened to them was unfair. I also think that, whilst there are clearly nurture and environmental factors that contribute to traits like compassion and empathy, there are also elements of nature too. I think some people are naturally more empathetic, and that will probably make them more compassionate.

    I think Nelson Mandela is a clear indication that this quote does not really work. Because one of the things that is so notable about him is that, despite how he was treated and things that happened to him, he was able to let that go and move forward with compassion and humanity, not bitterness and revenge. However, he really stands out for that, for not having been damaged by his bad experiences. If this quote was true surely he would be less unusual, and it would not be notable that he did not become brutalised and lose his compassion.

    Thought provoking, as always. #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      That is a good point that I hadnt considered. We are indeed surprised when extreme hardship fails to curb peoples humanity xx

  37. nipperandtyke

    November 24, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I am not a fan of these kinds of quotes either – I have unfollowed people who endlessly post them on fb. Perhaps they are supposed to make us think, but I would much prefer that someone tried to express themselves in their own words rather than use someone else’s to say what they think.
    For a start, the act of explaining your own thoughts makes you actually consider them in more detail, examine your views and perhaps, as a result, alter them through self reflection and discussing them with others. I think that is what blogging has done for me, at any rate.
    But then I know some people can’t stand emojis and I am obsessed! Different strokes…
    Interesting post 🙂
    x Alice

    1. nipperandtyke

      November 24, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Oops, didn’t finish the hashtag…

    2. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 6:33 pm

      Im with you, emojis are ace. It pains me that the tablet i use doesnt have any. Xx

  38. mrssavageangel

    November 24, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    haha I agree – these quotes are bull. Often written/cobbled together by people with an agenda or to prove a point, rather than things people just say. I’ve written about this myself in the past. I also disagree with the sentiment of this one. People are kind and compassionate if they are. So called hardship doesn’t maketh the man (or woman). Yes difficulties can give people perspectives that they wouldn’t otherwise have, but who is to say it changes them for the better. Also who is right to declare what hardship actually is. Its all relative!

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 6:44 pm

      I have read a bit about the woman who originally said this, and she was an inspirational woman, but I very much doubt she expected her words to be taken and splashed all over the internet as an inspiration to others xx

  39. jeremy@thirstydaddy

    November 24, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    bah. Sometimes people who experience bad things get angry and bitter, wanting everyone else to suffer with them. I’m sure for some people it makes it easier to emphasize, but I’m not a big fan of blanket statements like this

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 6:12 pm

      Thats my sentiment exactly xx

  40. Sleepingthroughyet

    November 24, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Thought provoking post, and I have to agree with you. Some people are more compassionate due to their own hardships/suffering but this isn’t always the case as many people have pointed out here. I normally just scroll passed the quotes on FB. #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Usually I do the same, but this one caught my eye for the wrong reasons x

  41. relentlesslypurple

    November 24, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I am quite a fan of quotes generally, especially positive ones but I do find myself at times reading some that just seem to be so overly patronising and I struggle to see how anyone could take them as ‘positive’ quotes. I think the majority of quotes are used negatively these days to point out where people are going wrong rather than to encourage and inspire people. Very thought provoking post, think I’ll find myself over-analyzing quotes even more than before haha!

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      I can see how people can benefit from positive quotes, but theyre not for me.
      I am a chronic over analyzer. It does come in useful for writing blog posts 😀 xx

  42. mummyshambles

    November 24, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I like Elizabeth K Ross but this isn’t one of her better ones for sure.
    Great post, lovely X

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      I did a little bit of research on her before posting this, and she was an amazing lady from all accounts xx

  43. nightwisprav3n

    November 24, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    It’s funny that you write about your dislike of quotes because I just posted one in your linky LOL! I love internet quotes because they reach me in a moment when I’m lost for words or the words of the quotes makes sense to me and my life. Some quotes I have come up with myself but most are found on the internet but they are usually ones that I find great meaning in. As for this quote though, this is the first time I’m seeing this one and I can absolutely see the flaws in it. The person who wrote the quote was probably trying to be uplifting and inspiring and I can’t fault the person their good intentions. However, like you Tracey, I know plenty of people who have suffered who lack compassion and empathy. My father is one of those people. He suffered as a child and took all that aggression out on his own kids. Compassion and empathy aren’t things we are born with. They are something that develops as we grow so if we don’t develop these skills, it doesn’t matter who suffered and who hasn’t. You have raised a very interesting point and question Tracey. Thank you! My brain automatically goes to the Psychological perspective and you have encouraged me to want to learn more about this topic. I love posts that make me think! Visiting from #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Oh, not all quotes are bad (massively backtracking now 😉 )
      I do think if people can take comfort or inspiration from them, well thats a good thing.
      Like you, I love the psychology behind behaviours and emotions (i was close to finishing a psych degree, only poor finances stopped my studies) xxx

  44. The Day is Today

    November 24, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    There’s compassion in everybody, but I find people who’ve suffered hardship can related easier to problems that others are having.

    Then again, I always like to think people are generally good 🙂

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      You should meet my ex, no compassion there, none at all.
      That you see the good in people is a credit to you, dont change xxx

  45. rhymingwithwine

    November 24, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Once again you have written a very thought provoking post which has made me stop and ponder. I think that I am of the opinion that some people experience trauma and adversity, and how this affects them very much depends on their character. I think that some people will take this experience and carry it with them which gives them a great amount of empathy and understanding with others, whereas some people may take this adversity and allow it to swallow them up (as per your example). I think that we are all hard wired one way or another, but that life’s challenges can enhance and exaggerate our traits, both positive and negative.

    Fantastic post as always. I will be pondering this for some time… x


    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Yes, thats exactly is xx

  46. Nige

    November 24, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I hate internet quotes with a passion your post Is totally right great read thanks for hosting

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      Looking at the comments here, they seam to be a very marmite thing xx

  47. Sarah - Craft Invaders

    November 24, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Oh, your title leaped out at me – I love your posts, they always get my brain clunking away! I do believe in positive thought, so I guess some quotes and mantras are beneficial, but I personally feel that they are over-used at times and often irrelevant. Now for the main question. I don’t believe that suffering makes you a better person, or that those that haven’t suffered are less compassionate. Our experiences may make us grow (or wither, or indeed stay just they same) depending on our personalities, and our willingness to learn from those experiences. I do think some people’s characters are such that their experiences make them more determined – I guess whether they then go on and do positive or negative things with that determination is down to the individual. x

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      Thank you for the gorgeous compliment xx
      I agree, experiences alter us but they dont change our basic personalities xx

  48. Life Love and Dirty Dishes

    November 24, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I do believe our experiences shape us. But they don’t always have positive outcomes. Some people’s suffering can lead to hatred and bitterness. I have also seen 2 year olds show compassion and they haven’t really had any major hardships. Or maybe not getting to watch Peppa will leave an emotional scar?! #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Indeed, and I would argue In The Night Garden could cause suffering 😉

  49. Lady Nym

    November 24, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Totally agree with you on every point! I dislike these saccharine quotes on social media, too. And this one, in particular, is wrong for all the reasons you’ve stated. I know some people who really have suffered and are also amazing and compassionate people…but also a lot of abusers have been abused themselves. It clearly just doesn’t hold true for everyone.


    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Yes, its not anyway as clear cut as the quote would suggest xx

  50. Kyles

    November 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    I’ve seen this quote before too and it annoyed me as well. It’s seems quite strange to me, actually, because frankly some of the most beautiful people I know are children who have known no hardship. They are gentle and compassionate and can have quite a deep concern for others (humans, animals, bugs…) Beautiful people do just happen. Then all sorts of stuff might happen to mess with that beauty and they might work their way through it and come out a whole new type of beautiful. But to ignore the original beauty is a sad thing indeed. Thanks for hosting #abitofeverything

  51. Zoe Forde

    November 24, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I love this post. And I do believe there’s some merit in the idea that those who have suffered are more compassionate. I have a lot of empathy for those who suffer around me, and it has a lot to do with what I’ve been through myself #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      It can make people go either way. A lot of people are the better for their experiences but some are worse. Xx

  52. leannelc

    November 24, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    I am a bit of a fan of good internet quotes, but I also have an aversion to the trite ones – I have a secret Pinterest board entitled “Bollocks” where I save all these well meaning quotes that are not all they seem at first glance! Good on you for calling this one out!

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      That is a very appropriate was to deal with them 😀

  53. daislikethese

    November 24, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Very thought provoking, thank you.

    At least the quote didn’t have a picture of a Minion next to it!! #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      Ohhhh, I LOVE minions, but yes even I find minion quotes annoying xx

  54. crummymummy1

    November 24, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I don’t think you’ve overthought it and well said! I’m not really a big fan of internet quotes either… #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks, its nice to know im not on my own with this x

  55. cvnxena

    November 24, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    hmm i’m not sure, I feel like our experiences both good and bad make us compassionate, not necessarily just the bad ones. You can be just as moved by a good deed as your own suffering. Personal suffering (in my opinion) tends to either make or break a person x great post #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      Yes, compassion is a far more complex thing than the quote implies x

  56. Mama

    November 24, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I usually don’t stop to read these as I find them saccharine or cliche. No disrespect to the people who enjoy them but they don’t float my boat.
    Thanks for hosting #abitofanything x

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      I usually skip over them, but this one unfortunately did catch my eye xx

  57. dearmummyblog

    November 24, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Social media is saturated with Internet quotes!! We sometimes post them as a prompt to others to make them think and encourage interaction and debate but half the time people don’t read them and keep scrolling. You’ve got this quote spot on, we’ve had no major hardship in our lives but it doesn’t make us any less compasionate to others plights :-/ #abitofeverything

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 24, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      I think a lot of (people on my facebook at least) mindlessly share them without any thought whatsoever x

  58. freakinmerv

    November 23, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    I think you’re spot on about these quotes. The longer the quote the more the person seems to be having to justify the way they see things. I think many have lost their original power and are thrown out there like confetti onto the winds of social media.

    As regards suffering, it can send people in either of the directions you’ve noted, either bitter or more understanding. I think the one thing that generally comes out of being in a particular situation in life is empathy for others in the same situation. Sympathy can be taken the wrong way by a person who’s struggling, but empathy makes them feel less alone.

    I’ve suffered various issues in my life. Some people may have gotten through them without any scars (mental or physical), others may have fallen apart completely. I guess I fall somewhere in the middle and I’m still carrying a lot of that old baggage with me. I try to be empathetic, understanding, tolerant and patient … but sometimes I’m just a complete arse, though I really try my best not to be! I suppose what I’m trying to say is that there is no real answer … we’re all slightly different shades of the colour of life, from those in the dark end of the spectrum to those in the light.

    Thank you for putting up with my waffle once again!

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      November 23, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      your waffle makes perfect sense to me, I agree with you totally xx

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