Compassion Poems

Compassion Poems

Poems about Compassion and Empathy

When we feel strong and well, it is easy to forget about our own frailties and also the misfortunes, troubles, and sicknesses of others. We are only as strong as is our compassion for those who are weak. For in strength must come the power of understanding and the wisdom to act with gentleness and kind concern for those who are not able to help themselves. It is in the ability to empathize that we show true insight and in the ability to aid that we show our real gifts. These are the real hallmarks of true compassion and strength.

52 Poems about Generosity and Caring

  1. 1. Have You Earned Your Tomorrow

    This famous poem, "Have You Earned Your Tomorrow", is likely by Edgar A. Guest who was known as the People's Poet for his simple uplifting style of writing poetry, and first published in the Detroit Free Press around 1916. There are different versions of the poem around and it has been attributed to other authors and with other titles such as "The Day's Results", "The Day's Work", "At Day's End", and "Is Anybody Happier".

    Is anybody happier because you passed his way?
    Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today?
    This day is almost over, and its toiling time is through;
    Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you?

    Did you give a cheerful greeting to the friend who came along?
    Or a churlish sort of "Howdy" and then vanish in the throng?
    Were you selfish pure and simple as you rushed along the way,
    Or is someone mighty grateful for a deed you did today?

    Can you say tonight, in parting with the day that's slipping fast,
    That you helped a single brother of the many that you passed?
    Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said;
    Does a man whose hopes were fading now with courage look ahead?

    Did you waste the day, or lose it, was it well or sorely spent?
    Did you leave a trail of kindness or a scar of discontent?
    As you close your eyes in slumber do you think that God would say,
    You have earned one more tomorrow by the work you did today?

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    This is a very inspiring poem. I am a health care professional working with elderly nursing home care patients... many are alone with various combinations of impairments in hearing, seeing,...

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  3. 2. Solitude

    "Solitude" is Ella Wheeler Wilcox's most famous poem. The idea for the poem came as she was traveling to Madison, Wisconsin, to attend the Governor's inaugural ball. On her way to the celebration, there was a young woman dressed in black sitting across the aisle from her. The woman was crying. Miss Wheeler sat next to her and sought to comfort her for the rest of the journey. When they arrived, the poet was so unhappy that she could barely attend the festivities. As she looked at her own face in the mirror, she suddenly recalled the sorrowful widow. It was at that moment that she wrote the opening lines of "Solitude." It was first published in an 1883 issue of The New York Sun.

    Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
    Weep, and you weep alone;
    For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
    But has trouble enough of its own.
    Sing, and the hills will answer;
    Sigh, it is lost on the air;
    The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
    But shrink from voicing care.

    Rejoice, and men will seek you;
    Grieve, and they turn and go;
    They want full measure of all your pleasure,
    But they do not need your woe.
    Be glad, and your friends are many;
    Be sad, and you lose them all,
    There are none to decline your nectared wine,
    But alone you must drink life's gall.

    Feast, and your halls are crowded;
    Fast, and the world goes by.
    Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
    But no man can help you die.
    There is room in the halls of pleasure
    For a large and lordly train,
    But one by one we must all file on
    Through the narrow aisles of pain.

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    This poem, in my own eyes, represents things I have already heard. A sum up of this poem, for any and all that wish to understand the dark yet true meaning behind this poem, Ella states that...

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  5. 3. Human Family

    In this beautiful and powerful poem, Maya Angelou, teaches us that we are all people, and so much more alike than different. Imagine the change we would see in the world if we all lived this simple truth!

    I note the obvious differences
    in the human family.
    Some of us are serious,
    some thrive on comedy.

    Some declare their lives are lived
    as true profundity,
    and others claim they really live
    the real reality.

    The variety of our skin tones
    can confuse, bemuse, delight,
    brown and pink and beige and purple,
    tan and blue and white.

    I've sailed upon the seven seas
    and stopped in every land,
    I've seen the wonders of the world
    not yet one common man.

    I know ten thousand women
    called Jane and Mary Jane,
    but I've not seen any two
    who really were the same.

    Mirror twins are different
    although their features jibe,
    and lovers think quite different thoughts
    while lying side by side.

    We love and lose in China,
    we weep on England's moors,
    and laugh and moan in Guinea,
    and thrive on Spanish shores.

    We seek success in Finland,
    are born and die in Maine.
    In minor ways we differ,
    in major we're the same.

    I note the obvious differences
    between each sort and type,
    but we are more alike, my friends,
    than we are unalike.

    We are more alike, my friends,
    than we are unalike.

    We are more alike, my friends,
    than we are unalike.

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    With so much sadness and feeling alone in the world today, reading these words reminded me there are so many others that feel the same. And it's so important for us all to remember all humans...

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  6. 4. A Gift To Share

    I seldom get out anymore, except for medical reasons. I find it is still easy to bring a little brightness into this old world by just smiling. Some people are so startled and seem to think twice about smiling back. Children respond better. This is a troubled world.

    Sharing A Smile And Being Cheerful

    I was given a smile the other day
    From someone who passed me on their way.
    I wasn't sure what I should do.
    Perhaps, I'll leave it up to you.

    If I should keep it for myself,
    Put it on the kitchen shelf.
    Then it would be a certainty
    To bring some happiness to me.

    Somehow that doesn't feel just right
    For me to keep it in my sight
    When there were others who might need
    A waft of warmth, oh yes indeed.

    It doesn't take so very much,
    A cheerful smile, a gentle touch,
    To lift the cloud another bears,
    To help them feel somebody cares.

    There is one thing we all should know.
    A smile is like the candle's glow.
    No matter how many candles share
    That light, its fullness still is there.

    So when I go out on the street,
    No matter whom I chance to meet,
    If I share with them my precious smile,
    Do you think that will be worthwhile?

    For hopefully, they too, will understand
    That a smile is like a helping hand.
    I'm hoping that you will agree
    And someday share a smile with me.

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    I enjoyed the poem, and I always try smile, but now it's a little hard because of masks. This poem should be seen by everyone and help people feel more comfortable.

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  7. 5. If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking

    This poem is by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). Like all the rest of her poems, the poem does not have a title and is called by the first line of the poem. Dickinson had the gift of saying a tremendous amount in a few perfectly succinct words. The poem's message is simple and self-explanatory. If I can ease the burden of a fellow living creature, "I shall not live in vain."

    If I can stop one heart from breaking,
    I shall not live in vain;
    If I can ease one life the aching,
    Or cool one pain,
    Or help one fainting robin
    Unto his nest again,
    I shall not live in vain.

    If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking By Emily Dickinson

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    The poem transmits the meaning of helping from the heart, reaching out to those in need and soothing the pain felt by others. It doesn't need a hero to work wonders, only need a heart to...

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  8. 6. The Paradoxical Commandments

    This selection, entitled, "The Paradoxical Commandments", was written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 when he was a 19 year old Harvard Student. Since then, it has been quoted by millions and even mistakenly attributed to Mother Teresa who had a version hung as a poem on a wall in her Children's Home in Calcutta. The text contains 10 commandments. The theme and the paradox is to persevere in doing good for humanity and acting with integrity even if your efforts aren't appreciated.

    People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
    Love them anyway.

    If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
    Do good anyway.

    If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
    Succeed anyway.

    The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
    Do good anyway.

    Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
    Be honest and frank anyway.

    The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
    Think big anyway.

    People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
    Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

    What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
    Build anyway.

    People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
    Help people anyway.

    Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
    Give the world the best you have anyway.

    The Paradoxical Commandments By Kent M. Keith

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    This poem is very touching. I think the poem is all about staying positive no what happens in life. People won't appreciate you for the your good deeds, but still have a positive attitude...

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  9. 7. Tears

    • By Whitney Fancher
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems March 2015

    This is a poem about the different reasons we cry.

    Poem About Everything Crying And Tears Mean

    I come when pain
    Becomes too much to take.
    I come when you're sad,
    Or your heart starts to break.

    I might come when you panic,
    I might come when you're mad.
    I'll show up here and there,
    When enough is what you've had.

    I'm salty and warm,
    I might be big or small.
    Sometimes when you're strong,
    I don't come up at all.

    I fill your eyes with moisture,
    I roll down your cheek.
    Sometimes I mean joyous,
    Sometimes I mean weak.

    Sometimes when you're scared,
    I come as a sign of fear.
    You can feel when I'm coming,
    Whether far or near.

    I may come along
    When you hear your favorite song.
    Sometimes I show up
    When you've been strong for too long.

    I know you want to fly away.
    I know inside you're a mess.
    You long for a brighter day.
    Tears are words the heart can't express.

    Poem About Everything Crying And Tears Mean, Tears

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    This poem is well written and beautiful. I just became a member on this site and your poem is one of the first ones I read. What a great way to start.

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  10. 8. Rose Painted

    • By Paige
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems June 2015

    This poem was inspired by the movie The Help. The main idea of the poem is how people look at people's skin color and judge them.

    Poem About Skin Color

    If I were a Rose painted black,
    would you cast me aside
    like blackened, burnt rice?
    Would my color tarnish my sweet smell?

    If I were a Rose painted black,
    would the richness of my ebony petals
    make me unworthy
    of being called
    a Rose?

    If I were a Rose painted white,
    would my ivory petals be worth more than silver?
    Would my sweet smell captivate
    a room welcomingly?

    If I were just a Rose,
    sweet-smelling and vibrant
    and your mind was blind...
    would my color matter?

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    This was a very true poem! I love the meaning, and it really brings out the idea of discrimination by color and how bad it is. I love it!

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  11. 9. Have A Good Day

    The poem is my way of saying, "I wish you well and that your life will be rich and full."

    May your blessings be many
    and your troubles be few.
    And may you feel God's presence
    in all you say and do.

    May your family surround you
    and give you reasons to smile.
    May your friends and loved ones
    go with you an extra mile.

    May you know joy and gladness
    and have a life of peace.
    And may your load grow lighter
    and all your cares decrease.

    May your sleep be ever so sweet
    as you retire each night.
    And when you wake each morning,
    may your burdens feel light.

    May mercy and grace follow you
    every minute of every day.
    And may you feel the love of God
    As you go on your way!

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    The poet, Lenora, has reached the pinnacle of a wish. A human being flourishes within a society and he has lots to give to that society and not to forget he must have the bliss from God. The...

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  12. 10. On Another's Sorrow

    This poem was published in Songs of Innocence in 1789. The innocence suggested within the poem is that sympathy alone can comfort and heal.

    Can I see another's woe,
    And not be in sorrow too?
    Can I see another's grief,
    And not seek for kind relief?

    Can I see a falling tear,
    And not feel my sorrow's share?
    Can a father see his child
    Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

    Can a mother sit and hear
    An infant groan, an infant fear?
    No, no! never can it be!
    Never, never can it be!
    And can He who smiles on all
    Hear the wren with sorrows small,
    Hear the small bird's grief and care,
    Hear the woes that infants bear --

    And not sit beside the next,
    Pouring pity in their breast,
    And not sit the cradle near,
    Weeping tear on infant's tear?

    And not sit both night and day,
    Wiping all our tears away?
    Oh no! never can it be!
    Never, never can it be!
    He doth give his joy to all:
    He becomes an infant small,
    He becomes a man of woe,
    He doth feel the sorrow too.

    Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
    And thy Maker is not by:
    Think not thou canst weep a tear,
    And thy Maker is not near.

    Oh He gives to us his joy,
    That our grief He may destroy:
    Till our grief is fled an gone
    He doth sit by us and moan.

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    A soulful poem. Sometimes or many times for some people it's the "going through" the sorrows that make life worth living. A hard way to learn a life lesson, but it often turns out better than...

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  13. 11. Ears That Hear

    I am a person who loves to express myself through the artistry of words.

    Poem About Helping People In Need By Listening And Caring

    Ears that hear, eyes that see,
    A heart that understands.
    One who sees the broken pieces,
    Gently holding them in your hands.

    Eyes that tear up with emotion,
    Ears that hear what you can't say,
    A heart that beats with feeling,
    Helping pain to edge away.

    Ears that hear the silent cries,
    A heart that feels the breaking,
    A soul who knows that kind of pain,
    The anguish, depth of aching.

    Ears that listen patiently,
    Eyes that see through tears,
    An empathetic, caring heart
    That understands your fears.

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  14. 12. Differences

    I am so grateful that I was born in a farming community and I never knew what prejudice was until I moved to California later in life. A child doesn't realize he is formed by what he hears when he is little, but it becomes a way of life.

    Accepting Differences

    We all come warmly from the womb,
    Unprinted pages to be filled.
    Brought forth upon the stage of life
    On which our character starts to build.

    Day by day and step by step,
    We begin to fit into a mold,
    Created by our way of life,
    Accepting stories we've been told.

    Every culture forms its shackles,
    Binding those that live within.
    Boundaries set by age-old rules
    Is where prejudice will begin.

    Few are those who will accept
    The differences of all mankind.
    The uniqueness making each one special
    Is not the quest most seek to find.

    It sometimes seems no one remembers
    That God is the Father of us all.
    We are equal in His sight,
    From the mighty to the small.

    The Golden Age will never come,
    Nor will there be a lasting peace
    Until love replaces hatred.
    Then all differences will cease.

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    Wow! This is really good, and it's also really true. People are all born the same, but it's how they grow up that make them different. Nice job!

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  15. 13. Winners

    • By Mariah B.
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems May 2015

    My poem is called "Winners." I wrote this for my language arts class during our poetry unit. I couldn't help but notice that everyone seems to think that winning means being better than everyone else, getting a lot of money, and only caring about yourself. People think that nice people finish in last place. Mean people don't have fun, though. My poem is about how being kind and showing compassion is more important than any amount of money, no matter what people say about you.

    Poem Showing Kindness Is Better Than Winning

    None of us can stop.
    We all want to get to the top.
    We want to finish in front of the line,
    But we're running out of time.

    Truth be told, you have to be bold
    And daring, rather than caring
    So you can be better than the rest
    And best of the best.

    Why can't we be nice?
    And not have personalities like ice?
    It shouldn't mean you're weak
    Because you're not on a winning streak.

    Success can be measured in different ways,
    Not only by the amount of money and praise,
    But by how good you feel;
    That's when you know that success is real.

    It's important to know
    That wherever you go,
    Someone will try to outdo you,
    But make something of it, will you?

    Is life about coming out ahead?
    Or is it about going slow instead?
    It's about finding who you are
    And remembering to look up at the stars.

    When you walk down the street
    Never look down at your feet.
    Winning doesn't mean coming out ahead.
    It means being perfectly happy instead.

    People are worth more than money,
    So make every day sunny.
    Don't struggle with too much strife,
    And you will have a good outlook on life.

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    That is so true. So many people think life is just about having an education and getting a job and earning money, but you're right. Life is so much more. Most people fail to realize that...

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  16. 14. How Often, If Only...

    Kindness is necessary as we deal daily with others. It's a fundamental Christian value, though sometimes easy to forget. I wrote this poem because I needed a simple reminder of the essence of kindness.

    The Essence Of Kindness

    If only
    We'd have helping hands that lead,
    Open arms accepting those in need,
    Not fingers pointing out misdeeds.

    If only
    We'd have tender lips full of smiles,
    Gently speaking the truth instead of lies,
    Not a caustic tongue that beguiles.

    If only
    We'd have eyes keen for good results,
    And not leering eyes that insult,
    Or ones always searching for faults.

    If only
    We'd have a gentle soul willing to forgive,
    A tender heart that offers reprieve,
    Not one that is flinty and stiff.

    How often
    We'd have goodwill with our fellow being,
    Get by with even those who seem mean,
    And enjoy peace without and within.

    If only....

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  17. 15. Nature's Way

    At 96, I seldom get out anymore, but when I do, I like to people watch. It saddens me how to see the indifference that seems to be prevalent. I always try to smile at people, and usually the first response is surprise, then a bit of a shaky smile. Children are more apt to spontaneously smile back. The conflict between races is creating an unfriendly world. Each one of us needs to do our part to make it better.

    Poem About Smiling Makes The World A Better Place

    Is there anything as tranquil
    As a brightly glowing jonquil
    That stands in sweet serenity,
    A part of nature's tapestry?

    A flower that never questions why,
    The rivers flow and birds will fly,
    Content to fill part of the plan,
    To beautify the world of man.

    If we would only realize
    We, too, can help to glorify,
    To find within each passing day
    A happiness along the way.

    A loving hug or cheerful smile
    Can help to make a life worthwhile.
    If all would lend a helping hand,
    We soon would have a world so grand.

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  18. 16. What If

    At 93, I have come to the realization that each person is a part of the scenery and is therefore responsible for bringing light or darkness into the world. When I write poetry to amuse, comfort, and perhaps inspire, I hope that I am adding a bit of light.

    Poem About Responsibility For Others

    If you have helped one single person
    To overcome a prejudicial mind,
    You have made an angel sing.

    If you've withheld hot words of anger,
    When control was hard to find,
    You have made the heavens ring.

    If you keep a smile upon your face,
    Though the going's really rough,
    You'll be blessed in many ways,

    Doing little acts of kindness
    Will, perhaps, be just enough
    To brighten up somebody's days.

    If you find love within your heart,
    Do not leave it there unspoken.
    There is no greater gift to give.

    Reach out to everyone around you,
    Let its warmth be spread unbroken
    Into this world in which we live.

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  19. 17. I Wish For Peace

    • By Sharifah Hanna
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems September 2009

    Dedicated to all people suffering from war, who, no matter what they are like, are humans just like us. Sincerely, from Sharifah Hanna, age 14.

    When times of sorrow
    Come each day,
    I always feel sad
    And sigh away.

    Always a war, needs fighting
    Always a life, suffering,
    Oh, how I wish,
    I wish for peace.

    Though, I know, 'tis a test
    Laid for us by God,
    That the day comes
    Of no more burden,
    No more load.

    A time of love,
    A time of ease,
    Oh, how I wish,
    I wish for peace.

    But, what would I give
    For people to always get along,
    Instead of shouting curses
    To, maybe, sing a song?

    I hope, I will live
    To see my dream come true,
    As, I hope, your dreams do to.
    Right now, I will wish,
    I wish for peace.

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    I am deeply touched by this poem. I am South Sudanese (23 years old) and living as a refugee in Egypt. My experience with war is that I was born in a worn-torn country. It left deep wounds of...

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  20. 18. Judgments

    This is my first attempt at more serious poetry.

    Unfairly Judging Others

    You don't get to judge me
    Till you've walked in my shoes,
    Till you've carried my burdens
    And paid all my dues,
    Till you've lived with my pain,
    My regrets and self-doubts,
    Till you have all the facts,
    All the ins and the outs.
    So your judgements aren't valid,
    But I guarantee,
    You could never be more critical
    Than I am of me.

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    Fantastic poem - well done. So true. That says it all. I just wish I had written it myself.

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  21. 19. One Kind Word

    One kind word can change a thought,
    It can change an opinion,
    Change a mind.

    One kind word can offer hope,
    It can give happiness,
    Change an experience.

    One kind word can bring growth,
    It can give someone strength,
    Change a day.

    One kind word can make a difference,
    It can show someone cares,
    Change a life.

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  22. 20. Accepting One Another

    I wrote this poem after recent events in the UK.

    Accepting Differences

    We are not the same,
    Not in creed, in colour or name.
    Yet together we inhabit this earth,
    We should value each other's worth.
    Understanding we won't always agree,
    For you are you and I am me.
    Show no prejudice, exhibit no hate,
    No animosity, no arguing, only debate.
    Different opinions, different ideas,
    A tapestry of people with a range of hopes and fears.
    In essence we are one,
    Sharing the same earth, moon and sun.
    We share a common ground,
    Laughter, tears, feelings profound.
    Yet we won't always agree,
    For you are you and I am me.

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    Thank you, Silas, for your comment. I am pleased my poem resonates with you.

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