TED has a series on compassion right now.
Robert Thurman, http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/robert_thurman_on_compassion.html
and many others. I’ve been listening… love yourself, then you can love others. Nobody really ever feels better for having hurt someone.
It’s very interesting to come at compassion from different viewpoints. What I see is that an important part of compassion begins with an attempt to understand the pain someone must be experiencing that would make them want to lash out and be your enemy; their pain makes them want to hurt you. And when you’ve been hurt, you don’t have to hurt back or even run away, no matter how tempting. (Well, maybe sometimes you *do* need to get out of harm’s way.)
But when it is possible to stand, understand and feel love even when you’re being hurt, it is good for *all*.