Megan - Findlay, Ohio
Entered on September 19, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that the greatest trait a person can express is that of compassion. Compassion is reaching out to fellow man in a way that is so very important. I believe that to have the want to help another person who is experiencing hard times, rather than to condemn him is to show the utmost kindness and empathy.

When I was a little girl, I was a bit of a tomboy, so I was always riding my bike or running around outside. One day, I was riding down a street very quickly and fell off, scraping my knee pretty badly. I wasn’t sure at the time what to do so I just sat there, crying. Then all of the sudden this kind old man came out of his house, asking me if I was okay. He knew my mother was at work at the time so he brought out a band-aid and some cookies and distracted me with stories while I waited for my mom to come home. I thought that was so very kind. There was nothing telling him he had to entertain me. He could have made sure I was fine and then sent me on my way. But the thought that he was really cared affected me greatly and I take that memory with me wherever I go.

I am a person of faith, and as such, I feel like it is my own personal duty to lend a hand wherever I can because God gave me this one life and I cannot imagine He would want me to waste it away caring only for myself. To display compassion towards someone really says something about your own personality. I believe that compassion is not just an act of kindness between one person to another, but something that could mean much more than that. If I were to see a man give a homeless person a coat during winter, that would tell me something about that man. It would tell me that that man possesses the strength of heart to be able to reach out to those less fortunate and I would respect him greatly. His compassion would rub off on me, putting a little bit of light into my own day which I could then pass on to somebody else.

So many people in this world are in need of some sort of compassion. Even the slightest of efforts could brighten their day or even help change their outlook on life. If each person could make it a point to do something compassionate or helpful for someone in need, just think of all the lives that could be improved!

A quote from the Dalai Lama says it all: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want you to be happy, practice compassion.” This is so true. If I were to know that I helped someone out in their time of need, making them feel happy, then that, in turn, would make me happy. And what better can you do in this life than to spread joy and happiness to others just by lending a helping hand.