Figure 1 Roberta, our beautiful summer visitor (being cared for by Robert)

The word “compassion” can be defined as an awareness of the suffering of self and others, combined with committed action to try to relieve it. That is why compassion is not just a feeling: it is also a verb that implies action in alignment with values. There is no moral or rational reason why compassion should be reserved for those we know well or for members of our own species.

Sandra Higgins, along with some of the other authors of the recently published book How to be Happy & Healthy, The Seven Natural Elements of Mental Health, talks to Paula Wiseman on Near 90 FM radio about how our lifestyles impact on the wellbeing of others and how we can extend Compassion to other animals.