Compassion. Everybody wants it; nobody wants to give it. And It is always in short supply when you need it.
An overabundance of its effect lies littering the ground when tragedy hits. Money, clothes, time, human presence–all thrown at the problem at hand, with people shouting over social media and on TV: SEE! See what we did there? We care! We sent stuff!
But once immediacy of catastrophe is replaced by the day-to-day need? Nothing. We become impatient and unyielding, demanding that people put themselves back together on their own, putting a timetable on their right to suffer and hurt.
True compassion is a daily sacrifice of our own perspective for someone else’s. Compassion forces you into another person’s shoes, thought process, belief system, pain. When you have real compassion, you lay aside your own irritation, frustration, and concerns about a situation and try to see it from a place that is not comfortable or convenient to you. Compassion is hearing another person’s heart and, rather than judging, reaching for understanding and love.
What would the world be like if we all had compassion for those not like us? What would our homes be like if husbands showed compassion for wives? Mothers showed compassion for daughters? Neighbors showed compassion for neighbors?
Everybody wants it when it is their time to suffer. We cry where is the grace and mercy for me? But when it is time to lead in grace and mercy, we are only concerned for our own selves. We live like the man in the parable whose boss showed him mercy for a huge debt, yet he turned around and showed no mercy for those in little debt to him.
We must learn to show compassion in all circumstances and at all times, if for no other reason that the most selfish one of all: we reap what we sow.