I believe that true compassion comes from personal experience of pain. That's why groups like this work. Even the most cynical of us (see me waving?) can reach back and pull forward those in the middle of what we ourselves have gone through.
I'm paying close attention to my own quit, protecting it, nurturing it, paying it forward when I can. In every instance of struggle I say to myself, "This is not permanent, and there's something to be learned from this." It's always true. Always.
So even though I get a kick out of thinking I'm self-absorbed and that all of life's ups and downs are about ME, the truth is that, too, is only temporary. Because once I've learned a lesson for myself, I'll pass it along to you.