It’s unfortunate how often we hear comments like “this world is cruel, nobody ever helps each other!” And sadly, this is often true. Kindness and compassion seem to be rare enough to be noteworthy when we see it, while cruelty and selfishness often pass without comment.
But is it truly cruelty that is the reason for what we perceive to be a lack of compassion? This does not seem to ring true; most people have a level of empathy for others, surely we are not a race of sociopaths. Rather, it is more likely to be a lack of attention or the belief that we are unable to help that prevents us from seeing the plight of others in need.
Let us address each of these two individually. Firstly a lack of attention is common in today’s busy world. We often become so wrapped up in things, whether the accumulation or using of things or the needs of our own immediate family or circle of friends that we fail to look further than that. This isn’t a lack of empathy, but rather a lack of time.
The second point was the belief that we are unable to help others. This often directly relates to the first; having a lack of time (or the belief that we have no time) causes us to think “I don’t have time to do anything of any value, I’ll let others who have more time help.” It’s not a lack of empathy that is the barrier to kindness and compassion, but by failing to act the burden falls on to those few who realise the simple truth.
So what is this simple truth? That even the smallest act can make a huge difference to someone. A smile. A kind word. These gifts at the right time can prevent a plunge into darkness that takes so much more to escape from. It needn’t take much time to offer kindness and compassion. You may be surprised at what it does to you too 🙂
Life is for living.