Compassion is in short supply when life grows turbulent. The rocking and swaying of our own boat leaves us groping for control, grasping at the wheel, and struggling against the squall. We never stop long enough to realize that another boat may be dashed upon the rocks and in need of rescue. We have our own calamities to confront, it’s not in our own interest to think of that other ship. It must fend for itself, just as we are.
And so we become engrossed in our own problems, perhaps even cruelly dismissing the flashing distress signal accross the misty waves. Compassion is not convenient. It is a costly endeavor. It’s humbling because we must acknowledge that our own interests are not paramount. Not only does compassion beckon us to stop looking at ourselves and consider the plight of another, it demands that we care. And if we really care, then action is the only appropriate corollary.