Where has Kindness and Compassion Gone?

I originally wrote this right after the attack at the Manchester arena in May. I remember sitting there trying to wrap my mind around it and I couldn't. I really can't understand how a person can do something like that. How can a person feel so little regard for someone else's life? How can someone take another person's life so callously like that? We say it's more devastating because there were young children in there but I see the senseless murder of every life, regardless of age, as devastating, and I can't wrap my mind around it. I really can't! Murder is murder. Mass shootings, bombings, and the like are becoming almost a regular occurrence...how did we get here? How did we, as a society, get to this place? Where did we go wrong? When did compassion get replaced by selfishness?

We blame religion but it's not religion's fault. I believe with everything in me that there had to be something inside the person that was already leading him or her towards thinking murder was OK before religion took over. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think I am. There are good Christians and there are bad Christians. Christians have killed in the name of Christ: Crusades anyone? There are good Muslims and bad Muslims. Just because there are some extremists doesn't make it OK to blame the entire religion...it's not the religion, it's the person. I've noticed that there are a lot of people that have forgotten what it means to care about people outside of their own circles.

If you spend a lot of time online, like I do, you'll find there is a lot of hate out there. As someone from a small town this was a major surprise to me. Sure, we spent most of our time at home growing up and didn't really interact with the outside world much, and yes, I dealt with abuse and a hell of a lot of anger from the people around me on a regular basis, but I genuinely believed the world, as a whole, was a decent place. Now I wonder what happened and what went wrong. Did we lose our empathy and compassion when we gained the world at our fingertips? Has sitting in front of a computer screen made us forget that the person we're talking to is, in fact, another person with feelings just like our own? I ask myself these questions all the time and yet I still don't have a clear answer. I get it. It can be difficult to judge a person's intent and meaning behind their words online and things can get heated and out-of-control quickly. All you have to do is read something, get ticked off for whatever reason, type a scathing reply, and hit send. Then they read it, get ticked off, type an equally scathing reply and also hit send. It continues back and forth until someone finally decides to walk away...but not before the damage is done...not before the hate and anger has taken us over.

Have you ever sat and read the comments sections of news articles? It's frightening to see how quick people are to judge and lay blame without the facts or evidence to support their opinions. A child drowns or suffers some other injury and it's automatically the parents' fault. Even when the article says it was an accident there are people placing blame. Isn't the family dealing with enough? Where's the compassion? And those aren't the only kinds of articles you'll find this in. It's everywhere! No matter what the case, you'll find people blaming the victims. Why? Who made them judge? What gives them the right? I know I keep saying this but I really can't wrap my head around this. What gives someone the OK to sit behind their computer and talk to people with such vitriol, hateful, and judgmental self-righteous behavior? How do people like that justify their words to themselves?

And it's not just online either. This anger, this need to lash out at the people around us...to make others feel worse because it somehow makes us feel better, more important to put someone else down and feel bad. At least for a little while anyway. Where did this self-importance come from? Has it always been this way and I just wasn't paying attention? Where has kindness and compassion gone? Is it so hard to believe that the person you're currently yelling at for messing up your order or accidentally bumping into you might be going through something really bad right now? Was losing your temper and throwing a tantrum, let's be honest that's what you did, really worth it? Was it really necessary? Did it make you feel as good as you thought it would or did you feel remorseful? Is it really that hard to control ourselves and our reactions to things? Did we all lose our self-control? Why? How? Why can't we put ourselves in other people's shoes anymore? Why do we feel the need to constantly keep it together anyway?

I'm OK. I'm fine. Nothing's wrong...

These are the biggest lies we tell each other, and ourselves, to hide the truth. We are NOT OK. None of us are. No one leaves this earth unscathed, no one dies unharmed. We all have invisible scars that we try to hide. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US. We are all dealing with our own pain, our own demons, but we rarely (if ever) talk about them. We don't want people to see what's inside. We don't want people to think we're weak or incapable...we don't want people to see us as less than we are. But we never stop to realize we're not as alone as we think we are. We don't think the person asking if we are OK might also not be OK. I mean, they look OK, they seem OK. They must be OK...right? But don't we also do our best to look OK? To seem OK? But we're NOT OK. We're hurting; for whatever reason we have going on; we're not completely OK. We all feel stressed, anxiety, depression, hurt, anger, resentments, bitterness, loneliness, fear...maybe not all the time, maybe it's been a while, but you've felt those things. Something has happened in your life that has affected you and shaped you into who you are right now. No one living right now has had a completely, perfectly happy life. NO ONE. Don't let anyone tell you differently either because it's a lie. How do I know that? Simple. I've lived and I've observed and I've spent a lot of time thinking about it...and I've come to the conclusion that every single person alive has gone through or is going through something that has negatively affected and shaped their lives. Just because you can't see their pain or know their journey does not mean there's nothing wrong. WE ALL WEAR MASKS TO HIDE OUR PAIN. Some of us just wear them better...

I've come to the conclusion that I'm different than most people. That doesn't mean I think I'm special, because I don't think that, not really. But I know my worth, sort of. I know my family cares about me and that I'm special to them but I also know that that doesn't make me more important. In fact, I've come to realize that when you think about how many people have been born and died since as far back as ever and how many people will be born and die in the years and years ahead of us: I'm nothing more than a tiny speck, a blip in time. And like it or not, it's true about you, too. We are all only here for a brief amount of time and then we die. The only thing left of most of us will be the memories that the people around us will have and eventually those memories will fade away or die as they follow us to our graves. So, again I ask: Where has this sense of self-importance and entitlement come from? What makes one person think they are better than the next? What must a person be thinking that makes them think they have the right to treat others so harshly? To take someone else's life? I refuse to believe that religion alone is the reason behind this. I REFUSE. So what is it then?

That Monday night after the Manchester bombing I was sitting with my daughters and two of my nephews and I was reminded that the selfishness and entitlement begins in childhood. Children don't often think about the world outside of their little circles, they have to learn that their words and actions can hurt others. When they are hurting they instinctively lash out. They have to be taught to control their emotions, taught that they aren't the only ones with feelings. But it seems, to me at least, that many people either didn't learn these lessons or have forgotten them along the way. I'm not blaming parents, I know how hard it can be to teach these lessons and make them stick; I worry a great deal about my oldest daughter's behavior and anger sometimes. I do the best I can with what I have, but I'm often afraid it's not going to be enough.

But we can't just blame that anger and hatefulness on our circumstances or childhood traumas. We can't. And I'm not trying to offend anyone here. I've been abused, I've been raped, I've been hurt to the point that I'm not sure I am every going to completely heal but I could never never do something to deliberately cause another person pain. At some point, we have to own our feelings and our actions. At some point, we have to realize that no matter what has happened to us we don't have the right to repeat it to someone else. And I'm kind of torn here, I am. I understand what trauma does to a person. I can see what a person is doing and I understand that there are underlying issues going on that are causing their behaviors. I see my older sister on drugs and trying to destroy her life and it makes me SO angry at her! But I also know what she's been through, and understand that she doesn't know any other way to cope. I blame society. I blame our refusal to talk more openly about mental health and this constant need to pretend we are OK until we can't take it anymore and snap. I blame us all for not making access to mental health services easier. I blame us all for wearing our masks and pretending we're OK when we aren't...but I don't blame religion.

I don't care who you are, your life is NOT more important than mine but my life is NOT more important than yours either. We need to do better. We need to start treating people with kindness and compassion again. We need to remember that the people around us have feelings and those feelings are just as important as ours. We need to start putting ourselves in other people's shoes and thinking about how we'd feel if someone did that to us and then act accordingly. We need to stop being selfish and remember that we are all going through something that can't be seen with our eyes and start trying to see with our hearts.

There is so much more I want to say here, but I think I'm going to leave it with this. Please remember to be kind to everyone around you. Please don't let your anger get the better of you. Please just STOP AND THINK before you say something that could cause someone else pain.
*This was originally posted on 5/31/17.

IMG_fwjqii-1

Contributing Editor: Shawna K. Whaley

I'm a happily divorced, single mom of 2 girls. I have a 12-year-old that thinks she's 16 and a 10-year-old. I work full time in the Medical Records office of a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility for teens in Southeast Ohio. Life isn't always all rainbows and sunshine, but it isn't always clouds and nightmares either. I am a domestic abuse survivor. I've been abused in some way or form for most of my life; verbal, emotional, mental, and yes, some physical and sexual. My self-esteem has taken a major hit. Some days I'm not even sure if I have any...BUT I use what little bit I have to advocate for others. I'm learning to tell my story. By staying silent, my abusers win. I cannot stay silent.

38 Comments

  • Glenn E Petersen
    Posted August 11, 2017 12:02 am 0Likes

    Hi, Thanks for the read and the thoughts expressed therein. I want to take one particular quote from your article and suggest that maybe it contains causation. It’s this half of your sentence about your oldest daughter. “…but I’m often afraid it’s not going to be enough.”

    I think you put your finger directly on the pulse of what’s going on in this country in every community.
    That feeling of impotence is incredibly powerful, and it is unbelievably destructive.

  • Tony Scruggs
    Posted August 11, 2017 12:45 am 1Likes

    How do you feel sharing all of that hope, inspiration, desperation & aspiration Shawna?

    Sending you empathy & loving energy, while offering gratitude & appreciation for your vulnerability 😉

    As an empathy-coach who was able to observe controlled violence as a pro athlete, I love how you used assertive nonviolence to share your message. I was taught that ‘people in pain create pain’ regardless of their shade of brown, gender or religious beliefs. I was also taught where empathy was understanding feelings & needs, an offshoot of that was something people call mirror-empathy (where instead of voluntary connection, we inflict pain to see our pain mirrored back in pain).

    I need to exhale every time I talk about the toxic weight of mirror-empathy.

    Chi of Love, thank you for infusing kind, compassionate, empathic energy into this conversation. It’s so very needed (& so are WE…all of us precious members of team-humanity). Feel me?

    ~’The Empathy Guy’ (“Together We Rise, Together We Fly”)

  • borvestinkral
    Posted September 4, 2017 1:36 pm 0Likes

    It’s really a cool and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pingback: Corporate Event Managers Hyderabad
  • Wholesale NFL Jerseys
    Posted October 7, 2017 7:56 pm 0Likes

    You will require training and experience as a coach to qualify.When you check into a personal development or life coach career, it is a good idea to consider certification. A security door which can be fitted to main doors or windows so that your houses or commercial places would be protected from any unwanted things and all kinds of weather can called as roller shutter doors.3. Not to forget how telemarketing calls have become quite a headache for customers today, they end up adding such numbers to the Do Not Disturb list.

  • Pingback: indica
  • Pingback: juegos friv
  • Pingback: lose weight operation
  • Pingback: make money with a iphone
  • Pingback: Preclinical DMPK Services
  • Pingback: Aws Alkhazraji
  • Pingback: lowongan kerja 2018
  • stephen curry shoes
    Posted December 31, 2017 1:50 pm 0Likes

    I must show appreciation to the writer just for rescuing me from this type of circumstance. Just after scouting throughout the world-wide-web and meeting things which were not productive, I figured my life was gone. Existing without the answers to the problems you’ve resolved as a result of the guideline is a crucial case, and the ones that would have in a wrong way affected my entire career if I hadn’t encountered your web site. Your own knowledge and kindness in maneuvering the whole lot was helpful. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t discovered such a step like this. I’m able to at this point relish my future. Thanks a lot so much for this specialized and results-oriented guide. I won’t hesitate to suggest the website to anyone who desires guidance about this matter.

  • nike air max
    Posted January 1, 2018 6:19 pm 0Likes

    I have to show my thanks to this writer just for rescuing me from this condition. Because of exploring through the online world and finding principles that were not pleasant, I figured my life was gone. Living devoid of the strategies to the issues you have fixed through your good article content is a serious case, as well as the ones which could have in a wrong way affected my career if I had not noticed your web page. The ability and kindness in touching all the details was very useful. I’m not sure what I would have done if I had not come upon such a stuff like this. I can now relish my future. Thanks a lot very much for this specialized and result oriented guide. I won’t think twice to propose your web blog to anybody who would need support on this subject matter.

  • yeezy
    Posted January 2, 2018 3:05 am 0Likes

    Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thank you However I’m experiencing situation with ur rss . Don抰 know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting identical rss downside? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  • hermes belt
    Posted January 2, 2018 10:12 pm 0Likes

    I intended to send you one little bit of remark to help thank you the moment again for your personal unique techniques you have discussed at this time. This is really seriously open-handed of you in giving openly exactly what many of us might have offered for sale for an e-book to generate some money for themselves, even more so since you might have tried it in the event you desired. These techniques likewise acted like the easy way to be certain that other people online have the identical keenness similar to my very own to figure out way more when it comes to this issue. I believe there are several more pleasurable opportunities in the future for folks who find out your blog post.

  • Adidas NMD x White Mountaineering Trail Red
    Posted January 3, 2018 4:03 am 0Likes

    Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you’ll be able to take away me from that service? Thanks!

  • Pingback: gvk bio-sciences news updates
  • michael jordan shoes
    Posted January 4, 2018 1:11 pm 0Likes

    I wish to express my admiration for your kind-heartedness giving support to men and women that actually need assistance with this important subject matter. Your personal dedication to getting the solution throughout appears to be astonishingly good and have continuously allowed guys like me to realize their targets. This invaluable guidelines indicates a great deal a person like me and extremely more to my office colleagues. With thanks; from everyone of us.

  • yeezy boost 350 v2
    Posted January 4, 2018 9:08 pm 0Likes

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So good to search out anyone with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this website is something that’s wanted on the net, someone with a bit originality. useful job for bringing one thing new to the internet!

  • prada eyeglasses
    Posted January 5, 2018 8:07 pm 0Likes

    I together with my pals appeared to be checking the best items from your web blog and then unexpectedly developed a horrible suspicion I never expressed respect to the web blog owner for those tips. Those guys appeared to be warmed to read through all of them and have in effect unquestionably been using those things. Appreciation for simply being simply helpful and also for choosing certain nice areas most people are really desperate to understand about. My very own honest apologies for not expressing appreciation to you earlier.

  • yeezy shoes
    Posted January 7, 2018 4:05 pm 0Likes

    I definitely wanted to post a message so as to appreciate you for some of the magnificent concepts you are showing on this website. My rather long internet investigation has at the end been recognized with beneficial points to go over with my colleagues. I ‘d declare that most of us visitors actually are unequivocally blessed to exist in a wonderful website with so many marvellous professionals with very beneficial ideas. I feel truly lucky to have encountered your web site and look forward to really more cool minutes reading here. Thanks once more for a lot of things.

  • jordan shoes
    Posted January 8, 2018 8:53 pm 0Likes

    Thank you a lot for giving everyone a very spectacular chance to read in detail from this web site. It is often very fantastic plus jam-packed with fun for me and my office fellow workers to visit the blog at the very least 3 times per week to learn the new things you have. And definitely, we are at all times fascinated concerning the incredible concepts you give. Some 1 tips in this post are unequivocally the most efficient we have all had.

  • nmd
    Posted January 9, 2018 8:29 am 0Likes

    I actually wanted to type a simple remark so as to appreciate you for these awesome ideas you are placing here. My time-consuming internet lookup has at the end of the day been paid with brilliant tips to exchange with my partners. I would believe that many of us visitors actually are really blessed to exist in a notable place with so many perfect individuals with beneficial tricks. I feel truly lucky to have come across your webpage and look forward to really more thrilling minutes reading here. Thanks a lot again for a lot of things.

  • adidas shoes
    Posted January 10, 2018 11:45 am 0Likes

    I would like to point out my gratitude for your generosity in support of women who should have help on this one niche. Your personal commitment to passing the message along had become especially significant and has without exception helped women much like me to arrive at their targets. This informative useful information denotes so much to me and substantially more to my mates. Thanks a lot; from all of us.

  • Adidas NMD XR1 Camouflage Main White
    Posted January 11, 2018 10:10 am 0Likes

    A lot of thanks for your whole effort on this web site. Betty takes pleasure in getting into investigations and it is easy to understand why. Many of us notice all concerning the lively manner you render advantageous solutions through this web site and in addition cause contribution from other people on this situation plus our favorite simple princess is without a doubt learning so much. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the new year. Your doing a superb job.

  • goyard handbags
    Posted January 11, 2018 7:26 pm 0Likes

    I happen to be commenting to make you know what a really good discovery my cousin’s girl had browsing your web page. She came to understand some things, not to mention what it’s like to possess a wonderful giving character to have many others really easily comprehend specific tortuous subject matter. You undoubtedly exceeded visitors’ expectations. Many thanks for giving these good, trusted, informative and also easy thoughts on the topic to Jane.

  • nmd uk
    Posted January 12, 2018 5:33 am 0Likes

    My husband and i ended up being comfortable Ervin could deal with his researching with the precious recommendations he gained from your web site. It’s not at all simplistic to just continually be releasing facts that many people today have been trying to sell. And we also acknowledge we’ve got the website owner to be grateful to for this. The most important explanations you have made, the simple blog navigation, the friendships you can help to create – it is most fabulous, and it’s really assisting our son and the family believe that that issue is cool, which is unbelievably fundamental. Many thanks for all!

  • michael kors outlet
    Posted January 13, 2018 3:31 am 0Likes

    I simply wanted to thank you so much yet again. I am not sure the things that I might have worked on in the absence of the actual tactics revealed by you about that subject matter. Certainly was a daunting circumstance in my circumstances, but coming across a specialized mode you solved that forced me to leap over joy. I’m happy for the assistance and then have high hopes you realize what a powerful job you have been getting into educating the mediocre ones through your web blog. More than likely you’ve never met all of us.

  • curry 4
    Posted January 14, 2018 2:56 pm 0Likes

    I actually wanted to post a small remark in order to appreciate you for the nice secrets you are posting here. My extended internet search has at the end been recognized with awesome points to go over with my close friends. I ‘d repeat that we readers actually are definitely lucky to exist in a notable community with many special people with very helpful strategies. I feel quite grateful to have encountered the weblog and look forward to really more awesome moments reading here. Thanks a lot once more for everything.

  • adidas yeezy
    Posted January 15, 2018 1:22 am 0Likes

    I want to voice my admiration for your generosity for men who must have assistance with that matter. Your special commitment to getting the message all around ended up being incredibly practical and have constantly encouraged girls much like me to get to their pursuits. Your personal warm and helpful help and advice signifies much a person like me and even more to my fellow workers. Thanks a ton; from everyone of us.

  • Brian Laura
    Posted January 15, 2018 7:33 pm 0Likes

    I feel very joyful to share this wonderful testimony i have been married for 4years and I have a break up with my husband months ago 04/10/2017 and i was worried and so confuse because i love him so much. i was really going too depressed and a friend directed me to this spell caster Dr. Orifo and i made all my problems known to him and he told me not to worry that he was going to make my husband to come back to me and in just 48hours i receive a call from my husband and he was appealing that i should come back to the house. i have never in my life believe in spell and but now it have just helped me and i am now so happy. All Thanks to him and if you also want to have your Husband back to yourself here !! his email Address herbalsolutionhome@gmail.com i am so happy to testify of your work and kindness

    Brian Laura

  • adidas yeezy boost
    Posted January 16, 2018 2:07 am 0Likes

    I truly wanted to write down a small message to say thanks to you for all of the precious tips and hints you are writing at this website. My particularly long internet investigation has now been rewarded with beneficial details to write about with my relatives. I ‘d suppose that we website visitors are rather blessed to dwell in a really good website with very many marvellous people with good suggestions. I feel really happy to have seen your entire weblog and look forward to some more cool minutes reading here. Thanks a lot again for everything.

  • adidas ultra boost
    Posted January 17, 2018 8:53 am 0Likes

    I as well as my pals were actually digesting the excellent hints from the blog and then all of a sudden I had an awful suspicion I had not thanked the web site owner for those secrets. These boys were absolutely joyful to study them and already have really been taking advantage of them. Thanks for simply being quite accommodating and then for finding these kinds of superb tips millions of individuals are really eager to discover. Our own honest regret for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  • yeezy shoes
    Posted January 17, 2018 7:23 pm 0Likes

    I and also my pals were actually digesting the best techniques found on your web page and then suddenly got a horrible suspicion I never thanked the web blog owner for those strategies. Those young boys ended up consequently glad to see them and now have very much been taking advantage of these things. I appreciate you for turning out to be considerably considerate and then for making a choice on this kind of essential themes millions of individuals are really needing to understand about. My very own honest regret for not expressing appreciation to sooner.

  • air force 1
    Posted January 18, 2018 1:50 pm 0Likes

    I precisely desired to thank you so much once again. I am not sure the things that I could possibly have created in the absence of the entire solutions shown by you about my concern. It previously was a frightening situation for me personally, nevertheless understanding a skilled fashion you processed it forced me to weep with happiness. I will be grateful for your information as well as trust you find out what a powerful job you happen to be accomplishing training the others by way of a web site. Most probably you have never encountered any of us.

  • jordan shoes
    Posted January 19, 2018 5:57 pm 0Likes

    I wish to point out my gratitude for your kindness giving support to women who really want help with this particular niche. Your very own dedication to passing the message all around has been especially informative and have consistently helped associates like me to achieve their pursuits. Your personal important guideline means a great deal to me and substantially more to my office workers. With thanks; from all of us.

  • yeezy shoes
    Posted January 20, 2018 4:56 am 0Likes

    I intended to draft you one little note to help say thanks a lot the moment again regarding the superb things you’ve contributed on this page. This is quite surprisingly generous of people like you to provide extensively what some people could possibly have offered as an e book in order to make some cash for their own end, chiefly now that you could possibly have done it in the event you decided. The basics as well served as a fantastic way to be sure that someone else have similar dream just as my very own to find out many more regarding this matter. I’m certain there are millions of more pleasant times up front for folks who read your blog.

Add Comment