The United Hope of Compassion
Many view our society today as selfish, careless, cold, and ignorant. Instead of being thankful for what we have, we need the “new and improved,” bigger and better version. Some say we are a group of people corrupted by money, and obsessed with our self image. A place where relationships are lacking trust because so many people aren’t trustworthy and heartless. People that put their own interests above all else, and are willing to abandon morals to reach their goal. People that are lazy, and will pay others to do their job so they don’t have to work. People who don’t carry the burdens of others because they have enough problems they face on their own. In this society I’ve described above, our society, compassion is a foreign word. Does that mean our society is hopeless too?
Today in America, one in six people face hunger. There are more than 500,000 homeless people, about 679,000 children are victims of abuse and neglect, and 42, 773 suicides are committed per year. About 45% of young people experience bullying before the age of 18, and 50% of people have bullied another person. These are just a few examples of the hardships people face everyday, but what does this have to do with compassion?
So, what is compassion? Compassion means sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. Rachel Joy Scott was a hopeful girl that lead a life of compassion. She wrote in her journal, "I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go." Rachel was soon after killed by a high school student in the Columbine High School massacre.
Secondly, where does compassion come from? Compassion isn’t a sixth sense, but it is something everyone has. Even though I believe humans by nature are bad, I think it’s that bad part of us that keeps us from acting on compassion. Many people choose to look the other way instead of feeling compassion because it’s easier. It involves less time, emotion, and money, and after all, we cling to money like it’s our life because everything is so costly these days.
I imagine a perfect world to be a selfless, compassionate world, where people stand together rather than segregated. Our world is made up of people, and after all, we are those people. So in order to reach that well rounded society, we have to start with ourselves. Compassion is an attitude more than it is an action. Good sentence! It’s so much more than helping someone financially, or feeding the starving. It’s knowing that someone cares about you, a hand to hold in a storm, or someone by your side when you’re fighting a battle. That kind of feeling could make the world invincible, because two are better than one. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” We need to get over ourselves, look up, and realize we aren’t the only ones on the planet. Everyone is suffering which makes it even more important to take the time to build others up.
The key to compassion is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, and seeing life through their perspective. It’s understanding their past, and their present situation, and helping them. Whether it’s just a one word or a kind gesture, or even saying nothing at all, but facing the silence with them. If everyone did this, the world would be a more understanding place, rather than divided and spaced. Everyone is fighting a battle you cannot see, and people let these battles they’ve lost make them bitter. Showing compassion rather than being selfish, or displaying an attitude would do more good than we could hope for.