com·pas·sion ( P ) Pronunciation Key (km-pshn)n.
deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it
n 1: a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering [syn: compassionateness] 2: the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it [syn: pity]
compassion is when you eat something you have never eaten before in your life because you never found it appealing but you order the large portion of it anyway because the makcik selling it looked sad and lonely and people just walk by her without even looking at her or what kind of food she has to offer. compassion is when you donate your lunch money to someone by the side of the road with 2 little kids sleeping on a stack of spread-out newspapers in the midst of the city bustle, so that they can have their lunch. and maybe dinner. compassion is helping an old lady cross the street when young men and women like you and me are sitting in the corner cafe with their starbucks lattes and their coffee bean espressos talking about what they did last night or which club they're going to tonight. compassion is when you sacrifice a few hours of your time a week to teach underprivileged kids for free just because you want to spend time with them and you get this unexplainable feeling of bittersweet joy when you see them happy because they actually have the opportunity to learn, but you know they cannot afford to go to a proper school and get a proper education now because of circumstances. compassion is spending a few hours of your time with an old man/woman, just talking and listening to them, and spending time with them when their own kids don't have the time to layan them.
this is a random emo post. i was sitting in the cafeteria in the third floor of my office block with my teh o ais and i was observing this makcik and her daughter selling lontong (some sort of malay food). i was just minding my own business, reading about how alex ferguson sacked the man utd doctor and all. i finished reading my papers and just sat and looked around and watched people. so i was observing this makcik and her daughter for like the longest time, and i gradually started feeling sorry for them. not sorry as in pity, but sorry as in because people IGNORED them. even when they're right there next to the door. the makcik looked forlorn as she softly called out, "lontong, lontong". what pissed me off was this fat malay lady who just looked at the food display on the table, GRIMACED, and said loudly, "tak nak lah". i mean, wth. i felt like smacking her silly. you could so see the makcik's facial expression DROP. like literally. she was smiling a while back, and then she looked like she was gonna cry. i was sitting facing her, i could hear what the lady said, and i could see the expressions clearly. i got up, went to the makcik and ordered the large portion of lontong. i have never eaten lontong previously in my life. i don't think its all that great, but RM4 could make a difference to her. it might not be a significant amount for me, but it could be for her. she was smiling after that. i felt good.
maybe i am just easing my conscience by doing something nice. maybe i just felt like doing something nice. maybe i was pissed at the people who were ignoring her and i felt the need to just do something. it still feels good. i don't mean i feel good because i know i did something nice and maybe i'll go to heaven for it, but because i made someone smile today. the power of little gestures can be overwhelming.
i've had friends telling me that if i keep donating/contributing to charity (not the monks and the old people that come around the food courts asking for money), but to the registered organizations and even the little kids/old folks you see by the side of the road with amputated limbs, i am going to get conned one day. that might be the case, i don't disagree. they tell me that syndicates amputate little kids and old folks' limbs to make them beg for food and money, and then the syndicate takes the money/food, hence i am actually donating to these syndicates and not the homeless beggars on the streets. but what if by donating that extra cash or food or clothing, i ease their suffering or their burden? i have bought buns for an old lady with two sleeping kids by the streets. RM2.00 is not a high price to pay to ease someone's hunger. donating a few dollars is not going to make you bankrupt. spending a couple of hours of your time a week in a homeless shelter or an old folks home or an orphanage or a volunteer shelter instead of spending time loitering in a mall is not going to kill you.you could make a difference. it's only a matter of if you want to, and are you willing to spend a little time and effort into doing it.
just remember that a small gesture from one single person could start the ball rolling. you see starving kids, you see homeless people. you see old folks wondering aimlessly in the streets of corporate KL and you wonder how anyone can do that to their parents. what are you going to do?
i am not saying we should all be saints. i'm saying that you can't fault people for being compassionate. at least some people feel compassion. god knows we need more of them around.