Saturday, May 30, 2009

Where is the love?

I've discovered that I have an issue. Well, I have lots of them, let's just be honest here. But I have one issue in particular that really lights a fire under me: People who lack compassion. Oh. My. Gosh. I've learned that if I come across someone who is blatant about their lack of compassion for people who are truly and sincerely hurting, being exploited, starving, et cetera... I basically want to hurt them. As in, severely maim.

I had a certain situation this week involving some people who were displaying a total lack of compassion for the people of Africa. They came up with the worst excuses I had ever heard for their behavior and comments, and it was everything that I could do to keep from stabbing their eyeballs out. I now understand a bit more why Jesus went on a rampage through the temple. Righteous anger is an intense emotion, let me tell you. I do not believe that ever in my 26 years have I been furious to the point of physical shaking and my hearing buzzing. The anger I felt towards these people was mixed with sympathy for their unfeeling attitudes towards people, children no less, in horribly desperate situations that are beyond what those living comfortably in America can even begin to imagine.

I do not understand how a person can have any sort of knowledge whatsoever about the devastation around the world and not feel for that. How is that even possible? If anyone even mentions human trafficking, starvation, exploitation, regardless of who it is or where it is, my heart physically aches. The human side of anyone should hurt for that. And yet, so many of us are so caught up in our own lives that we cannot see past that. Or, we are so focused on our own passions or ambitions that we segregate our compassion towards a single group of people and leave the rest to their own defenses. This is not right. I do not believe that segregated love is the kind of love that Jesus taught.

How can we, in good conscience as a human being, turn a blind eye to suffering? How? This completely boggles my mind. I do understand that younger generations may need to grow into compassion, in a sense. That egocentric mindsets can be lessened with maturity and may be something that has to be learned, rather than coming naturally. However, I find any excuse still to be pitiful. If you cannot look at a suffering fellow human and feel nothing, you are wasting your life. Absolutely throwing it away. We were not created to be caught up in ourselves, to spend what little time we have on this earth focusing on our own wants and desires. We were created for a higher purpose, to uphold each other, protect each other, help each other. Anything less and we may as well just give up. It is pointless.

I had to pray for compassion on those who angered me so. It took me a little while to remember that their self-involvement and arrogance in the situation was most likely fueled by issues that I could not see, personal crises that could be skewing their perception. I also need to remember to have compassion on those who do not seem capable of the same at that moment in time.

"Compassion is the radicalism of our time." - The Dalai Lama


Mama Janna said...

I too get righteously angry, sometimes a little too much. Though it is a gift I think to be able to feel for people that they don't know. These days people are so freakin numb! How we can look at pictures and new reel of the dying and starving, the war torn and those sold into the sex trade and still feel nothing in our extremely privileged lives is just so unthinkable and yet so common these days. It is something that we very much need to pray for!

Lauralei said...

I, too, agree with Janna in that I feel compassion is a gift. Sometimes I feel like I don't ever think of anyone but myself, I can be so selfish. I feel that sometimes I lack compassion, and I don't want to become numb to what's going on. I want the heart of Jesus. I want to love like he loves, and be able to be compassionate like he's something that I hope to gain over the summer, and maybe it'll take a trip like Guatemala to really open up my eyes.