Day of Compassion

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

To me, compassion is the realization that something is wrong with someone else, or the realization of a need that someone else has, and a want to help that person. During my participation in the day of compassion, I worked to act in this way, a compassionate way, with everyone I came in contact with. The compassionate acts began in the morning while I was getting coffee in Java City. The person in front of me in line was short on badger bucks after they ordered their coffee, so I pitched in and bought their coffee for them. Later that day, a friend asked me if I would wait and have lunch with them after their class so they wouldn’t have to eat alone. Instead of eating lunch when I got out of class, I opted to have a late lunch with her so that she would have company and not have to eat alone. At work that day, one of the secretaries called in sick, leaving the other secretary to have to finish all of the commencement mail outs by the end of the day on her own. I decided to stay late at work that day to help the secretary finish all the packets, so that they would be mailed out by the deadline. When a service group came around to my dorm “dorm storming” I gave them a donation to help their cause.

            These are just some of the compassionate acts I demonstrated during the day of compassion. Although these acts might have been things I would have done on any other day, making a decided effort to act compassionately this day swayed me to do these things more willingly and without hesitation. On a normal basis, without the decidedness to act compassionately in all things all day, I would have most likely given myself “outs” as to why I should not have to do these helpful acts, such as “it will mess up my schedule” or “it will make me late.” All of these compassionate acts seem to be things that might take a toll on me personally, but they help the other person, making them feel happier or better. Behaving in what I think is a compassionate way had costs to me, such as changing my schedule to accommodate others or giving to others. But, the benefit of these acts far outweighs the costs, in my opinion. Although in the moment, acting in what I consider a compassionate way seemed to inconvenience me, and without a conscious effort to act compassionately I would have made excuses for myself as to why I do not need to do these things, in the end the benefit, happiness, and help it gives to the other person far outweighs my costs. Although I do not think others thought of my acts as being out of character or noticed them greatly, my acts did make a difference for those people of whom I helped. To outside eyes, those acts may seem trivial or inconsequential, but to the person that they helped, they meant a great deal. I feel it is important for people to act compassionately, not in an effort to receive praise or recognition, but instead because of a genuine want for the good of others and to help others. The more someone is treated compassionately, the more likely they are to, in return, treat others compassionately. So, if we each make everyday a day of compassion, our society and world could be a much better place. And, I believe this goal is possible, with each person working everyday to act as compassionately as possible to all those around them.