Everyone needs compassion
An Oregon high school students is wondering, "Where is the love?" Senior Kelsey Hertell wanted to share kindness with the community around her. Instead, she's found that too many in the world are too leary of a kind deed.
Each morning before dropping toddlerTate off at daycare, we have a short conversation. "Tate," I begin, "remember this: be kind, compassionate, and polite." She usually follows along. The author Frederick Buechner says, "Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.” Which is what I hope we accomplish with this food drive I've written about. Joy for my students. Joy for my community. Joy for the people receiving the food.
The Dalai Lama says about happiness, "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
Again, this is another aspect of what I hope our food drive has accomplished. I don't know that I have been all that happy at my school. In part, I wonder if it has something to do with the lack of compassion throughout the building. Students lack compassion for one another, evidenced by the regular put-downs, arguments, and fights. Students lack compassion for the teachers, evidenced by the regular disrespect. In turn, the teachers lack compassion for the students, evidenced by the quick judgements and half-hearted efforts. This lack of compassion has grown into a circular event in which individuals cannot bring themselves to end the cycle.
I hope we've taken a step towards shared compassion. I hope the world is not so cynical that we can't be kind to one another.