What does it take for a person to become compassionate? It seems that due to the hard economic times we have been in for the last ten years or more that we are becoming a nation of primarily looking out for ourselves. I am just a simple guy but I can understand some of this.
Many times a person who had a stable middle class job is now struggling with two minimum wage jobs. They see the worlds looking backwards instead of forward. For them the best is NOT yet to come. They are extremely bitter, and who can blame them. They don’t see that they will ever have it as well as they once did. That bitterness bleeds off any compassion they might have had.
But even for those who have managed to cling to that middle class job they have not seen any real raise in almost twenty year. At the same time they see the CEO of their company have his salary doubled on a regular basis by shipping jobs out of the country. They see those around them getting laid off and they who remain must pick up the work of those let go. They see their turn to lose their job just around the corner.
Who can have compassion at time like these? But even those who have stories similar to the above must realize that there are those who have it much worse than they do. There are those who, for one reason or another, have trouble even putting food on their families’ table. Some of this may be due to the fact that they are drowning in medical bills. Some may be because the primary bread-winner died unexpectedly. Whatever the reason they are struggling at a much more basic level than even those who have lost their middle class status in society.
Compassion is sometimes a very hard to maintain a hold on. It is easy to fall into the self-pity mode where you concentrate only on your personal problems or conditions. But one of the main things that separate human from all the other species is our ability to have compassion; that is to think outside of ourselves.
So, in some way being compassionate is complicated like brain surgery. Man’s sinful nature wants to go in another direction than what compassion dictates. Most of the world’s religions, including obviously Christianity, has as one of its foundation loving your neighbor. Even outside of religion it has a name. It is called the golden rule.