Don’t Shun Compassion

Train chugged off slowly from the station …. a lady was running to catch the train carrying a heavy suitcase in one hand. She was limping, unable to run fast, as her knees were hurting because of arthritis. She was holding the heavy suitcase in one hand and struggling to catch hold of the train with the other hand.

 A person standing near the door assisted her and pulled her inside the train. The train was a little crowded; since It was an unreserved compartment all seats were completely occupied.


 She looked around for a seat and tried requesting a few people but in vain. She stood there balancing on her legs with her knees hurting. She was panting for breath.

 Nobody bothered to offer her a seat and a few people pretended to look elsewhere and got busy in their own world. On seeing her plight, a gentleman stood up and offered his seat. Lady thanked him and sat comfortably in the seat. The gentleman was compassionate towards the suffering lady.

 This is quite common in journeys, we have experienced it several times. Many times we feel like helping but somehow we glue our butt to the seat. A strong inner urge to help is not felt and we remain unmoved and sit like a statue.

 Compassion is the act to relieve the suffering with kindness, caring and support.

 Yes, the message I am trying to drive home is about compassion. How conveniently we forget. What happened to the principles we boast of ?  Train is just one incidence, in day-to-day life we come across many such helpless people, instead of showing compassion somehow we conveniently turn our face away.

 During the present Corona lockdown period, I’m seeing exactly the opposite. People have become very generous; they’re volunteering to help those who are in distress. The needy are given food, medicines and provided shelter. Some people don’t even bother about their safety while extending heartfelt service.

 Whenever an intense disaster strikes whether it is a tsunami or earthquake, cloudburst or flood or whatever, people just drop everything and stand in solidarity with others. We have witnessed this generosity in all calamities.

 I read a very touching story sometime back, it’s a true incident that happened in one of the hospitals.

 A young boy was nursing his mother post operation, she was recovering. It was around 10 pm, the boy started home after serving food and giving medicine to her mother.

 While passing through the hospital wards, in one of the wards, he heard a faint murmuring voice. Out of curiosity he went inside and saw an old lady in critical condition lying on the bed. With tears in her eyes she kept saying something which wasn’t clear to him.

 The boy was curious and asked the nurse over there. The nurse told him that the old lady was in critical condition and her last wish was to see her son and eyes were looking for him.  Nurse with a heavy heart told him, we didn’t know the whereabouts of her son to reach the message.

 The boy went near the old lady and she grabbed his hand thinking that her son had come. She kept talking incoherently with him the whole night with tears in her eyes.

 The boy sat quietly throughout the night holding her hand warmly and comforting her. Around 4 am she passed away peacefully. 

The nurse was overwhelmed with emotion, hugged the boy and said this was true compassion, “without knowing that lady you sat the whole night next to her and comforted her, hats off to you”.

 If you have an itch to help others, if you’re a habitually generous hearted with a deep urge for service, you could consider channeling your compassion towards starting an NGO with a purpose and make a mark in life. There are so many situations crying for attention like for instance poor couples who can’t afford treatment of their children with congenital defects like a hole in the heart or suffering from cancer etc.

 To be compassionate does not mean throwing all discretion to the winds. Always lending a helping hand out of good nature is indeed a laudable habit but there could always be some situations that do not merit it.

 Like for instance giving alms to beggars. There are many categories of beggars and not all are deserving and needy.

 Use your discretion and help only the needy.

 Knowing this well, there are some compassionate people who are tough with beggars. However one should be careful not to deny the needy.

 Other day, I saw a beggar; she was very hungry and looked like she had not had food for a day. She approached a person for food, he was rude and shooed her away. 

 Next day morning I happened to see the same person talking about helping Covid-19 affected immigrant workers. This behaviour perplexed me, a sudden change in the attitude and overflow of compassion!!!

 One should learn to discriminate.

 Through acts of compassion you make a difference in your communities and sometimes in the world. Some of those who made a difference are Mahatma Gandhi, Baba Amte, Mother Terassa, Nelson Mandela. Through acts of compassion they made an ocean of difference in the lives of people and put the smile back on their faces.

 Act of compassion enriches your life and you will see many benefits. Some benefits are listed below

They are self-explanatory; however, we can dwell on each one at length, but i am limiting the scope.

If any of you interested in discussing further, please feel free to connect with me.

  • 1.     Improved health
  • 2.     Understand yourself and others well
  • 3.     Your social connectivity increases
  • 4.     You open up your heart
  • 5.     Reduces own suffering
  • 6.     You get peace of mind


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