Monday, May 2, 2011

Compassion

I heard something today that really made me mad. A woman whose husband left her and their child is working THREE jobs, and had to decide to either put gas in her vehicle to get to those jobs, or pay rent. She put gas in her car so she wouldn't get fired. She is now being evicted. She is not on welfare. She called her well-to-do parents to ask for some help, and her mother had a one-word reply: "Sorry."

What? Sorry?? As a mother, I cannot even fathom saying to my homeless child and grandchild, "Sorry." When pressed, the woman said, "Mother, I'm homeless!" To which Mommy Dearest replied, "You are not homeless. The victims of Katrina, they are homeless. The people in Alabama, THEY are homeless."

Wow.

What the heck ever happened to compassion? You know me and my word-nerdy-ness.
COMPASSION: tenderness. Mercy. Concern. Loving-kindness. Benevolence. Grace. Kindness. Goodness. And the one that gets me the most? Humanity.

People are supposed to be different from animals in that they don't eat their young. They're not supposed to ignore them or walk away. They're not supposed to champion Darwin's "survival of the fittest." Humanity. What does make us different?

It's no wonder our society supports animal activism and touts punishing people who abuse animals but find it completely acceptable to kill their own unborn children.

I remember having a discussion with a woman who said she would have stayed with her dog in a flood, and died with it, rather than go with her husband and child, so the dog didn't die alone. Now don't get me wrong, I'm an animal lover. I have 3 dogs. But they are animals. This woman would have chosen her pet over her child. I have a problem with that.

How did we get to value human life so little? How is it that we have no compassion for our fellow man? See a homeless person? "Oh, he must be a drug addict. He deserves it." Someone using food stamps? "Must be lazy and have 12 kids by 12 different men." See an overweight person using a walker, cane or wheelchair? "If they weren't so fat and lazy they could walk on their own."

People, I IMPLORE you. Look beyond the facade! Why can't we assume the BEST until we know differently? Instead of judging someone, here's an idea: HELP THEM. And if you're wrong? Well shame on them. But YOU doing good didn't hurt YOU one bit.

Look around you. Won't you PLEASE find just ONE person you could help today? Compassion. Don't just read this. Walk it out.

5 comments:

Peter Waite said...

Great post Kerri! Look for a new post today on my blog that features your blog :)

Rachel said...

It's terribly sad the way people treat each other. I don't know if people are afraid to help others, or if they just don't care anymore!

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted...

Patty Ann said...

I totally agree with this one Kerri!! It is amazing to me how conditional our love can be. You are right, we can each do one thing to make a difference.

Hello! I'm Kate. said...

Great post Kerri!

I love your definitions of compassion!

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I agree with you! Compassion is needed...so sad