Is Compassion Important?

September 3, 2009

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./ 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.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Roland Abuan

    Thanks bro, very nice article !

    There’s also a saying of the Dalai Lama in my Daily Leadership Lesson Calendar:

    ” IF you want others to be happy, practice compassion.

    IF you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

    Thanks+Best regards

  2. Ryann Ablen

    thanks. very uplifting, very inspiring.. god bless

  3. Erich

    Compassion is not an emotion, but an action. It requires participation and movement not just a feeling.

  4. Jeffrey

    Nowadays we rarely see people aspiring for leadership driven by compassion. Usually they start being compassionate but as time goes by they just become part of the same system. This is a good reminder to leaders whether Political, Corporate, School, etch.

    Nice Blog. Thanks

  5. grace

    It is the same thing with empathizing. We just don’t sympathize with people. We share their pain. We do something to help them not just continue to pity them.

    Thank you sir. You really are a purpose-driven writer. ^^

  6. Karen Israel

    Wow! A very inspiring one. I will share this to my classmates so that they may be enlightened as well. How I wish and hope I could be a great leader someday! I really admire Teddy Roosevelt and also Abraham Lincoln for their great leadership and servanthood.

    I wonder if Mr. Kong will go here to Davao, conduct some leadership seminars and meet him. But I know he costs a lot (hehehe). I should be contented of just reading these articles in this website. But you know I’m indeed wishful and so I am always looking forward to that day.

    Thank you for all the wisdom! God bless!

    I saw him in Magandang Umaga Bayan last month (maybe ;*)

  7. Karen Israel

    I hope Mr. Kong can read my comments in his chosen articles. May God bless him more and more each day.

    From this time on, he is now my sensei. I am not just one of his fan but I treat myself as his student. I’ll remember this day today. The day that I have known Mr. Francis Kong.

  8. mac

    i am a nursing student, compassion was always taught to us in school, all the while i thought i know the meaning of it but i was totally missing the point. thank you for this one sir…

    aside from my bible, it is a must for me to view your website to see if there are new articles… 🙂

    thank you Mr. Francis Kong

  9. Maria

    I like this article, very well said. We aren’t here to judge each other. True compassion comes from actions not from just feeling sorry or sifting through the reasons one is suffering. We just help…..period. True compassion is there, even when it hurts us to do so. And yet, we are happy to do so.

  10. Aris

    Dear Mr. Kong,

    Thank you very much for this inspiring message. I hope I can attend one of your seminars when I come back there in Philippines..

    God Bless!

  11. steffy

    sir you always continue to awaken my soul.sometimes i feel so insignificant that trying to help won’t even do any good what with the current political, economical, and environmental situation yet you continue to spread the light on many of us to make us believe in something.

  12. TOMS

    Merely wanna admit that this is very helpful , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

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