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True Compassion

February 18, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s a word that seems used carelessly. It’s hurled as a backhanded insult of “we’re more compassionate than you” in animal circles. It’s something most people say they are, but show they aren’t. Indeed, true compassion seems a rare thing.

Compassion comes out when there’s no reason for return. It disappears in many situations during the ordinary day.

We say there’s no tolerance for bullying in schools. We say we’ll stand up for people being pushed, or insulted or belittled. And yet most look the other way or ignore them.

That pregnant teen – you don’t know her story but she deals with depression daily. The unkempt man works odd jobs to keep his family fed, and has funds for a rare restaurant meal when the family is asked to leave. The lady who’s overweight has struggled to lose weight for years. The stories may very, but too often the disgust isn’t even hidden.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you think they don’t know? They don’t feel the ugly looks and hear the whispers behind their backs? Do you think that they appreciate the assumption that they somehow could do more but don’t? How about doing something to make a difference?

What a difference it’d be to approach them as they could be. These people are all around us. Most don’t want a hand out. Most would appreciate a hand up. The stories may vary, the characters may be different but the displays of true compassion are rare, in comparison to the alternative.

What will you do to change it? Think one person can’t make a difference? One person walked out on a beach and stopped a person from committing suicide. One person extended a hand out that brought a teen out of trouble and turned their life around. One person gave something more valuable than money or fame or power. Hope.

A friend of a friend killed himself recently. Today our veterans are dying at 22 per day – from suicide. That’s just veterans. How many are those people that hear the whispers, the insults, are turned away or criticized? How many lose hope?

What will you do to change it? Before another life is lost. Think. Act. Do.

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