Sympathy or Compassion? Los Vegas and the 24 Hour News Cycle

It’s not enough to shake my head and say aloud, “How awful!”

It’s hardly a challenge to agree with every voice that decries tragedy and calls for justice.  

But it’s something else again to move my body, give my time, put my money where my mouth is.

Sympathy says and does what makes ME feel better.

Compassion requires that I do what makes SOMEONE ELSE feel better, even when it makes me feel worse.

Sympathy is easy and short-lived-that’s why even this awful Los Vegas shooting incident will be old news by the end of next week.

Reporters are already scrambling to find obscure but interesting tidbits to hold their audience’s attention and maintain ratings.  Sympathy lasts only as long as it takes to make a Facebook post, send a card, shoot a text or grab a tissue to dab a few tears.

Compassion doesn’t need salicious details to keep its interest.  

Compassion (to suffer with) cannot be ignored.  It accompanies every waking moment and follows my heart into dreams.  Compassion forces me to do what I would not otherwise do because the pain won’t let me rest.

Compassion is in it for the long haul.

So I’m going to turn off the TV, the radio, stop searching the Web for news and tune in to what my heart says I need to DO.  

I refuse to participate in a culture of HYPE but am committed to work toward a culture of HOPE.

Violence doesn’t spring from nowhere. 

Hate isn’t grown in a day.  

questions just as important as answers mr rogers