In the midst of everything that is going on in the world around us, it is easy to shut our eyes to the atrocities we do not wish to see. And there is nothing wrong in doing so – I believe that looking too closely into the misery around the world will only cause more misery. But this does not mean that we should strip off our compassion and kindness. Instead, it means that we must show more of these qualities to the people around us.
There are so many people out there in situations that are unimaginable to most of us reading this right now. People who are going through physical and emotional hardship that we are lucky enough to never have to face. And sure, we can shut our eyes when it comes to the situations – the bombings, the recklessness of man, the climate changing and causing chaos – but one thing we must never do is close our hands to the people sharing this world with us.
Because what if you were in their situation? What if you were to swap places with them, even for just a day, what would you wish for the lucky few to do for you?
What you want for yourself, is what you must try to offer to others. You might take your freedom and rights for granted – but what about theirs? What about your neighbor, or your friend, a man on the street, or the estranged child on the other side of the planet? What can you do for them that you would want them to do for you, if the roles were reversed?
Maybe it’s something as easy as asking a neighbor how they are doing, or buying a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning for the homeless man on the street, or donating to a charity that does work around the world that you are not able to do.
The Dalai Lama once said: “It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.” Because compassion is just a word – and words need actions behind them to have a meaning.