Happy Friday everyone!
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about compassion and the importance of being a compassionate person. There have been a lot of tragic events around the U.S and around the world lately and it seems that so many of these tragedies are met with criticism and judgement rather than empathy and compassion. In our world of technology and social media it is so easy to get online and make snap judgements about something we read about, even though we usually don’t have even close to the full picture of what happened.
One thing I learned after my sister was kidnapped was that there was also way more going on behind the scenes than was reported in the news. I think a lot of reporters try to get the whole story, but that is really hard to do and for privacy and security reasons they are only given a portion of the information. I’m not perfect and sometimes I make snap judgements, but being on the other side of the spectrum where people are making snap judgements about your family or making harsh comments at the end of a news story I try really hard to take what I read for face value and remember there is always more to the story. It breaks my heart when I see people with little understanding of the situation make harsh, un-called for judgements from their computer screen.
I always wonder what prompts someone to make hurtful statements online, especially in the wake of a tragedy. I’m sure there are a dozen reasons that could be given, but none that I feel are actually valid. More and more it seems our society has turned into one that cannot let tragedy happen without having someone or something to blame. Accidents aren’t allowed to happen and bad things could have always been stopped. While I believe there are some incidents that could have been prevented and there are a lot of preventative things people can do, accidents DO happen and bad things can happen. There isn’t always a logical reason that things happen and there are times when we realistically couldn’t have stopped what happened.
Even if something terrible could have been prevented can we all just stop and have empathy and compassion for those involved and allow them to grieve before we go around informing them of what they should have done differently? If you haven’t ever experienced a traumatic event like losing a child you have no idea how it feels and therefore shouldn’t do anything except find ways to love and comfort their family. If you’re a stranger and don’t know the individual or family or the extent of the situation, but feel you need to say something I would suggest you apply the following before you speak or type :
Now, I am far, far from perfect and definitely need to work on being kinder to those around me. But, I am making a resolve to be a more empathetic, more compassionate, kinder individual. I think empathy and compassion are so incredibly important and can make such a difference in our lives. I am a very religious person and to me Christ is the best example of an individual who had the ability to love and lift others no matter what their situation was. Following his example I want to strive to be an individual who loves and lifts those around me. I want to be a person whose first thought is “how can I help them” “how can I love them” rather than that of judgement. Below are some of my favorite quotes on being compassionate and kind.