This I Believe
I believe in compassion. I have had many opportunities to exercise this quality within my family, but mostly through my great-grandma. Compassion helps people to look beyond themselves and try to understand how someone else is feeling. Often, people just need someone to talk to or to listen to them. We may not realize how our acts of random kindness could be giving hope to hurt or grieving people.
My great-grandma is ninety-one years old and lives in a nursing home. She has many health problems, walks with difficulty, is legally blind, and is confused most of the time due to Dementia. But, boy does she love it when her family comes to see her! She enjoys when we rub her back, sing praise songs to her, and repeat favorite family stories. She is the most thankful person that I know. I feel bad when she is confused, but it makes me feel good to know that we can bring a little bit of sunshine into her life. Six years ago before she went into Assisted Living, she would baby-sit my sister and I so that my mom could run errands without two rambunctious children underfoot. My great-grandma played games with us, told us jokes, taught us how to finger paint, and gave us great big “bear hugs.” Now that I am older and she is in need, I have the chance of helping and cheering her up.
Ever since I was a little boy, one of my grandparents’ has been struggling with illness. Even now my grandfather has been diagnosed with cancer and doesn’t have much time left. I look for opportunities to comfort and support him. I want to make him proud of me, by working hard and behaving in a way that honors him. People need each other to be understanding, kind and compassionate. Growing up with many generous family members, has taught me to think of others before myself. But that certainly does not mean I live that out every day; sometimes I am selfish and make mistakes just like everyone else!
Compassion is more than feeling sorry for someone. Compassion is being there, listening to, and trying to see from their perspective. We are often too “busy” or “preoccupied” to live this out and it is not easy. As it says in Colossians 3:12-13 “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”. We all should try to live this out.
This I believe.
By Benjamin S
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.