Is compassion important? You bet it is. Without compassion, this story may just as well be true:
A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.
A SUBJECTIVE person came along and said: “I FEEL for you, down there.”
An OBJECTIVE person came along and said: “It’s logical that someone would fall, down there.”
A CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST came along: “You only THINK that you are in a pit.”
A PHARISEE said: “Only BAD people fall into a pit.”
A MATHEMATICIAN calculated HOW he fell into the pit.
A NEWS REPORTER wanted the exclusive story on his pit.
A FUNDAMENTALIST said: “You DESERVE your pit.”
CONFUCIUS said; “If you would have listened to me, you would not be in that pit.”
THE NEW AGER said: “Your pit is only a state of mind.”
A REALIST said: “That’s a PIT.”
A SCIENTIST calculated the pressure necessary (lbs./sq.in.) to get him out of the pit.
A GEOLOGIST told him to appreciate the rock strata in the pit.
AN EVOLUTIONIST said: “You are a rejected mutant destined to be removed from the evolutionary cycle.” In other words, he is going to DIE in the pit, so that he cannot produce any “pit-falling offspring.”
The CITY INSPECTOR asked if he had a permit to dig a pit.
A PROFESSOR gave him a lecture on: “The Elementary Principles of the Pit.”
An EVASIVE person came along and avoided the subject of his pit altogether
A SELF-PITYING person said: “You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen MY PIT!!”
A CHARISMATIC said: “Just CONFESS that you’re not in a pit.”
An OPTIMIST said: “Things COULD be worse. Good thing it’s just a pit.”
A PESSIMIST said: “Things WILL get worse! And it starts with a pit!”
JESUS, seeing the man, took him by the hand and LIFTED HIM OUT of the pit.
So is compassion important?
Of course it is.
But the world continues to become hardened maybe because we are always on a rush to do things. Maybe because we have been victimized by swindlers and racketeers who prey on our compassion?
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines compassion as: “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”
It’s not just saying, “I am sorry.” It’s saying, “I’m sorry and I will help.”
Great leaders show compassion. And our country is in great need of leaders who are. In his book, Living Faithfully, J. Allen Blair tells of a man who was struggling to get to Grand Central Station in New York City. The wind blew fiercely, and the rain beat down on him as he lugged his two heavy suitcases toward the terminal. Occasionally he would pause to rest and regain his strength before trudging on against the elements. At one point he was almost ready to collapse, when a man suddenly appeared by his side, took the suitcases, and said in a strangely familiar voice, “We’re going the same way. You look as if you could use some help.” When they had reached the shelter of the station, the weary traveler, the renowned educator Booker T. Washington, asked the man, “Please, sir, what is your name?” The man replied, “The name, my friend, is Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt.” No wonder they are great leaders.
Here is a key thought we all should remember: People lose their compassion when they begin to think that they have been put on this earth to see through one another. But people of noble character know that they have been put on this earth to see one another through.