Compassion. The full definition as stated by Merriam-Webster is : sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
I don’t know where I’m going with this. For some reason, this word was definitely challenging for me.
It is something that we say all the time, “Have some compassion”, or “Show some compassion”, but what does that mean? I honestly question humanity when it comes to compassion. Perhaps it’s all the negative that we see in the media that we can’t see the real response of others because that isn’t something that will make people talk about the story. But then, when I am scrolling around on Facebook, I’ll see a tragic story posted and as if suffering through that tragedy wasn’t enough, you see negative, bashing comments coming from complete strangers towards the one who suffered the tragedy! How is that showing compassion towards fellow man? Then a fight breaks out because people get mad at what they read and the lack of compassion others display through their words. And when you think about it, yes, getting upset and mad is one thing, but when you feed into that negativity, it just acts as a snowball and just gets bigger and bigger with more and more people fighting about it. When just left alone, that one negative comment wouldn’t bare as much weight.
I have a problem with the lack of compassion others display towards moms and dads who are struggling with their kids in public. Come on, as if you’re child has never acted up in the middle of the Dollar Store because she wanted some silly little plastic toy that you said no to? I remember the stares I received when that happened to me. I seriously dragged my child out of the store kicking and screaming- afraid that I would be on a security camera and hauled off to jail for letting my child have a fit in a store over a plastic toy (most likely made in China or one with extreme amounts of lead in it or something). All the while, I felt the eyes of those strangers upon me, judging me. It would have been nice if the cashier whose line I was in at the time would have said a kind, sympathetic, compassionate word to alleviate the aggravation my daughter had just put upon me. But, all I remember was her glaring eyes looking right through me like lasers. I felt so embarrassed. I remember sitting in that parking lot fighting with my 4 year old (no she didn’t have terrible twos, it was fierce fours that got me) and securing the child safety locks so that she wouldn’t unbuckle herself and jump out of the car. I remember having my oldest daughter sit next to her so she wouldn’t escape that car seat. I remember just sitting there wanting to cry. And, I did. It was the worst day I ever had as a parent thus far. Imagine if just one of those people would have said something that displayed an ounce of compassion, I may not have felt so alone that day. And, I probably wouldn’t have felt like a complete failure.
There are so many other things I can say about compassion and what you can do to let others know that you do have it in you to be compassionate. Most of the time, people just need to know that they are being heard. That they aren’t alone. You don’t have to solve their problems, but you do have to show some compassion towards others because we are all going through things left and right and it’s nice to be nice. EVEN if you are on the other side of a computer screen. Just because you have that there as your ‘protection’, a day may come when you need someone to show compassion towards you. Do unto others my friends. Show some compassion and I bet it changes you for the better. And when you see a parent struggling with an unruly child in a store, show compassion, not anger.
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Tomorrows word is Determination.