COMPASSION IS NOT A WEAKNESS

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Submitted Date 03/13/2019
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I just finished watching a short clip of Ai WeiWei talking about his documentary, Human Flow. If you don’t know who Ai WeiWei is, in short, he’s a Chinese artist and activist who was one time imprisoned for his criticism of the Chinese government. He’s made a number of films, but his most recent is focused around the state of refugees in the world. Anyway, at the end of this clip, he talks about how the culture of the world should embrace compassion. This really got me thinking about what exactly we value as humans and if compassion is even on the list.

Now, compassion might be an important value that you hold for yourself, but do most people hold this value and does the world reflect that as a whole? I don’t have the right answer, but I do know that many times, compassion can be seen as a weakness. When we mention loving everyone and treating others with kindness and respect, sometimes people just do not want to take you seriously anymore. People are willing to put their lives on the line when they are driven by love and compassion, but somehow it still carries a slight negative connotation.

Even people who have jobs working for a nonprofit (NGO, joining the PeaceCorps, etc.) have people that say to them “it doesn’t pay that much, is it worth it?”, as if their dedication to helping others is less important than money. It seems to me that our society only puts value on a job if you can make a lot of money doing it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that having money and living comfortably is nice, but it’s not what life is all about and it certainly isn’t what we are meant to be doing here. Contrary to popular belief, money does not equal happiness.

The truth is, a lot of people feel that looking out for themselves is the safest way to live life. Ever since I was a child I was told to look out for myself before anyone else. The strange thing is, I’ve learned now that looking out for myself means helping others. If our society held compassion as an important virtue, then our eyes would be more open to the interconnectedness that is holding us together. Compassion for others means that you can recognize that what we do affects other people and what they do affects us. Not only that, but compassion allows us to see ourselves in others and, in turn, we see God.

If you’re a compassionate person, be proud and influence other people to have love and compassion for all living beings on this Earth. We are not separate from anyone on this planet and we are certainly not more important. Compassion can come out in many ways, but always remember to be proud of having a compassionate soul. The more you love and show compassion for those around you, the more your light will radiate and encourage others to do the same.

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  • David Ross Washington Jr 6 months, 1 week ago

    Even people who have jobs working for a nonprofit (NGO, joining the PeaceCorps, etc.) have people that say to them “it doesn’t pay that much, is it worth it?”, as if their dedication to helping others is less important than money. It seems to me that our society only puts value on a job if you can make a lot of money doing it.
    I've had this issue before. I wanted to go into sociology because I was/am passionate about the field, and had a new-found respect for the field, as I was only initially interested in the mind of the individual, and didn't know the effects of the society around said person, even the most individualistic person. I was told, "well they don't make a lot of money." It's okay to have a passion for something and that being all you want and need for success, being your purpose in the world.

    • Sarah Urbanic 6 months, 1 week ago

      Agreed. I'm in a public service field and I get worried looks all the time from my loved ones because it's just not an area that makes a ton of money. Don't get me wrong, I love money and it's a useful tool, but it doesn't outweigh my passion for service and I think it's limiting to think that I can pursue my passion and live an abundant life. Thanks for your input, keep working towards your dreams :)

  • David Ross Washington Jr 6 months, 1 week ago

    Contrary to popular belief, money does not equal happiness.
    So true. I went to college, and pretty much despised my experience. It was so stressful and depressing as a artsy person. No matter how many times I tried to tell my parent about how much I hated it, it wasn't necessary, and didn't make me happy, the only thing that could be seen as the success, the financial outcome. My happiness was never considered. Happiness is so important, and should seriously be considered over all else. As you said, "always remember to be proud of having a compassionate soul. The more you love and show compassion for those around you, the more your light will radiate and encourage others to do the same." Couldn't have said it better myself. Great article Sarah.

  • Tomas Chough 6 months, 1 week ago

    If our society held compassion as an important virtue, then our eyes would be more open to the interconnectedness that is holding us together.
    So true. Compassion and empathy are crucial for any community, society, country or a better world in general. I really appreciate your message as always. Keep it up and thanks for sharing Sarah!

    • Sarah Urbanic 6 months, 1 week ago

      Thank you so much :) I actually wrote this almost two years ago, but it definitely still holds true! Always appreciate your feedback, Tomas!

  • Ellen Gibson 6 months, 1 week ago

    Great job with this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic.

    • Sarah Urbanic 6 months, 1 week ago

      Thanks for your input, Ellen :) I appreciate it!

  • Miranda Fotia 6 months ago

    Very true! Great piece!

  • Carrie Lowrance 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    This was a fantastic article, Sarah. I totally agree that love, respect, and compassion should be shown at all times. Being compassionate can change the world and also save lives.

    • Sarah Urbanic 4 months, 1 week ago

      Thanks Carrie! I appreciate your feedback :)

  • Nina Appasamy 4 months, 1 week ago

    What a fascinating and thought-provoking piece! I absolutely agree with you, too. Our world would be so much more peaceful and successful if people had more compassion for others. If more people were compassionate, perhaps we wouldn't have so many greedy rulers, so many people who are hungry for violence, and we might be better equipped to actually find solutions to such tragedies as world hunger, climate change, and more.