I just bought a book by one of my favorite political columnists, Ted Rall. In the foreword, he talks about compassion and empathy.
He wrote about a time he saw a homeless man and thought, "Thank god, if it weren't for a few lucky breaks, that could have been me." I've thought the same thing before many times too.
How about you?
I agree with what Ted writes in the book and will have a review of "The Year of Loving Dangerously" soon... But, until then, this...
I wonder about people today and think there are far too many people who feint compassion and concern, but it's all an act. Take, for example, the disaster of the earthquake and tsunami of March 11 in Japan. So many people I know were actually sincere and got off their asses and did something...
But I also thought there were way too many people who only helped and contributed because it made them look good doing so. There's nothing so wrong with that, I suppose, as long as people are honest with themselves and open about intentions.
There's a word for this and it's Crocodile Tears.
I also think that there is far too little compassion and empathy amongst people today as a general rule.
Take, for example, the poor people who have suffered in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures. Terrible situation indeed... But the mass media seem to have gone on and people are losing interest.
Is it human nature to do so? Or are we all just robots with heart strings being pulled by the mass media?
I wonder why people will get together to make (at least the appearance of) an effort to help people who are on TV and suffering far away, yet, in their own neighborhoods, they scorn and look down upon the unfortunate in their own neighborhoods?
For those ends and my own research, I've made a survey at the right of this blog. It is asking the question:
"When you see a homeless person, what do you think?"
I hope you will help me by taking 5 seconds to answer the question (as many answers as you wish)... I will post the results on 10/31/11.
Note: I changed the name of this post from "When you see a homeless person, what do you think?" to "How Do You Feel When You See a Child Suffering?" Because I know that if I write "Homeless" that is a distasteful subject and many will not bother to read the post.