Raising arrows: Encouraging compassion - The Jerusalem Post

Compassion in action: an 18th-century Italian depiction of the Parable of the Good Samaritan

It feels ridicules writing about compassion in the way of writing about air or water; writing about them is easy; you can analyses them scientifically, after all, it does belong to the material sphere. 

But writing about compassion? And why does it feels ridiculous writing about it?

There is a one big paradox which seems difficult tp cross. Here is side of the parasox:

From one end, if we can measure somehow the intensity and urgency of all the crying, anguish and suffering that surface above and out of people – the cry for compassion – would be no doubt the most slicing and tearing apart the soul of anyone hearing it. 

The other end of the paradox is that (considering this massive cry for compassion) if we look around in the world with the most powerful spotlights, and the smallest flashlight – looking searching for droplets of compassion – there either none at all in our world, or hardly any. 

Very scarce, very rare, it is a disappearing commodity. 

Animals know how, if one elephant is wounded all the others try to pick him up,

Does elephant compassion deserve our own? - Susan McConnell Nature and  Wildlife Photography

 If the owner of a dog is suffering or crying it is licking his face, but with us, it is very difficult, until it seems that we lost or forgot the ability to do it. And what’s more – we do not associate any importance to it. 

 Some comes to you pleading for it, in a great crisis, his eyes are crying for some compassion, and we are paralyzed, as though we are asked to talk in a foreign language, but what we have immediately is a replacement: advices, oh, we are not short of advices. Wherever there is a crying need for compassion – there are dozen practical advices as a prefect fig leaf.  

Everyone has advices, but a tiny drop of compassion? 

Women still preserve some of this ability, but generally the disappearing process of compassion is almost done, now the world is almost completely void and empty of compassion.

And if it is seen to be practiced by someone – there are no applauses, no thanks – as though nothing special was done. In this alienated world, it is being perceived with great apathy and avoidance. 

It is absent and missing everywhere, but mostly it is shouting in agony from specific palace:

  1. Hospitals, Nurses and doctors are there to help the suffering sick people –they help the body but forget the soul the human being who get a cold and purely technical attitude.
  2. Psychiatrists and psychologists – the client enters are coming in painful, emotionally suffering, how much compassion is taking place in the space of the session? For what good all his learning if his practice does not include much more than 50% compassion?
  3. From grownup children toward their aging (and often with deteriorating health) parents? How much compassion is there?

Instead, they often are fulfilling a duty. Doing what is expected. But unconditioned spontaneous compassion? Like the one they got when they were little children? No.

  1. When we come across a suffering human or one that is going through a crisis – then, compassion should burst out of us immediately like a great bird, flying to reach, hug and embrace the poor suffering person – until the great compassionate eagle’s wings could reach his tormented heart and soul and bring in some healing, peace and comfort.  

Most people are convinced that if someone after all, still is doing an act of compassion – he himself does not need any thanks, or a credit for it, for the act itself is his greatest reward. It is a great misconception.

And I would like to share a personal story about it.

There is a woman in her 60th in England, she has a boyfriend for many years, and one day (now he is in his early 70th) he got ill with An Alzheimer’s

 Disease. It progressed very fast and very soon he was completely helpless and depended.

He had relatives, and his girlfriend could leave him, or arrange for him to be put in an institute. But she deserted everything in her life and became completely devoted to this lump of meat, (because that al he is by now), she is fully commitment for 24 hours. 

They had friends, few gave her any appreciation at all for what she is doing.

I heard about it from a common friend, and I asked him to pass to her my admiration and great wonderment for the incredible compassion she is giving to her poor partner. He passed my message to her, and her response was one: she started crying. For there is one person in this world that has some measure of her sacrifices and also has the full appreciation of its real value.

So, my moral here is. Even if there are some people who do compassion they are still in great need for conformation and a credit for it. If we do the most noblest of things – we are still in need of credit and support from our fellowmen. 

Everyone needs a credit.


A world without compassion is hell, more so for the soul-people (what is called: highly sensitive persons).


When you are born you are handled by compassion, when you die of old age you are handled by duty.


There is one thing for which there should be no forgiveness – where there is a cry for compassion – and no one around is even thinking about the giving of compassion.


Too much advice from everyone, but too little compassion.


God has pity on kindergarten children

God has pity on kindergarten children,

He pities school children less.

But adults, he pities not at all.

He abandons them,

And sometimes they have to crawl on all fours

In the scorching sand

To reach the dressing station,

Streaming with blood.

But perhaps

He will have pity on those who love truly

And take care of them

And shade them

Like a tree over the sleeper on the public bench.

Perhaps even we will spend on them

Our last pennies of kindness

Inherited from mother,

So that their own happiness will protect us

Now and on other days.

A poem by Yehuda Amichai

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