Submitted Date 03/13/2019


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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