If you want to develop a heart for compassion, then you can start with these small steps.
1. Sincerely ask people how they are.
The first thing you need to learn is how to care for what others are going through. By developing an interest in others’ lives, you become sensitive to the different needs of people and how you might be able to help them. Listening to their stories can touch and move your heart.
2. Be observant to the needs of others.
Another way to be sensitive to the needs of people is by being observant. There are some people who are too shy to ask for help, but if you are just observant you will know they actually need it. For instance, if you have a classmate whom you seldom see to eat lunch nor snacks, then it would not be rude to bring extra food for him/her.
3. Use social media to connect with people.
Instead of just using your Facebook to post about your OOTD or your summer getaway, why not use it to connect with people who are far away from you. This way, even if you are distant, you can still show you care for them. Find out how they are doing, what is new in their lives, and actively encourage them if they share their troubles with you. It is rude to only remember connecting with people when you need something from them.
4. Create a schedule to check on the people who matter to you.
Being busy is not an excuse to forget about the people you care about. Make time for them intentionally by setting schedules of when to spend time, call, or chat specific persons. Consistent communication with them will make them feel truly valued.
5. Try to help even through small ways.
Helping others does not always have to be by giving money. Sometimes, your presence is the best help you can offer to anyone. In addition, even simple ways can be a big help, such as helping someone with his/her school project, offering a ride home, or letting someone borrow a book s/he needs for school.
6. Send encouragement notes.
All people face problems of some kind. You may not be able to help them all, but your words of encouragement can mean a lot to them. If you know someone going through some hardship, you can send him/her a note of personal encouragement or a Bible verse that can remind him/her to remain strong.
7. Serve instead of waiting to be served.
Another way to show care for others is by serving them. Even just the simple way of filling someone’s glass with water or passing the dish across the table can touch hearts. How much more cleaning your sick friend’s house or doing your parents’ laundry? Surely, they will be able to feel your care for them.
8. Give without expecting anything in return.
Whenever you decide to give to others, make sure that you do it with clean intention. Give because you want to bless or help them, not because you want them to do some favor for you. In connection with this, instead of lending someone money, just give them any extra money you have and assure them that they do not have to pay back. This will not only be a relief for them, but this will save your good relationship from being ruined because of possible payment delays.
9. Be approachable.
Have you ever felt like people are hesitant to approach you for help or accept your offer? Probably you have an intimidating aura because of your social status or profession. If this is the case, then try to be more friendly by initiating conversations, smiling at those you meet, and calling people by their name. Be someone they can be comfortable to be with.
10. Share a meal with someone who does not have.
If you have the extra money, it would not be burdensome to buy an extra meal for someone you know has nothing to eat. It could be a classmate, a neighbor, or a stranger who lives in the streets. Your simple act of kindness could be an answered prayer for someone who has faith that God always provides.
11. Listen to those who need someone to talk to.
You do not have to be a guidance counselor to encourage someone who is emotionally down. Sometimes, all you need to do is be available for the person and be willing to listen to his/her sentiments. Even if you do not offer any advice, your assurance that you care could be enough for that person to feel better.
12. Pray for others.
Another way to let others know you care is by praying for them. You can ask your family, friends, or colleagues about their prayer requests so you can include them in your personal prayer time. It may not be visible to the eyes, but prayers can actually do more than your money or physical help. You just have to believe.