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Posts Tagged ‘compassion’

       I remember back when i was in high school, back in the 80’s, we had a class on social issues.  In that class we discussed high profile situations in our society; which underscored how desensitized our society was becoming to people in pain and misery.

       There was a case of a woman who was stabbed over and over again in New York.  She was screaming and people heard it and yet they did nothing.  Later, when the police were investigating…people stated that they heard it; but, they did not want to “get involved”. 

         I remember thinking, during that discussion, that that was crazy; an isolated incident.  Not so, as i have grown up and matured, I find that people really are becoming desensitized to other people’s pain and misery.  It is crazy but think about it…how many movies have put murder and torture out there for entertainment value…such as those horror flicks or slasher movies?  It is not only sad…but, it is immoral.   Those things desensitize our fellow human beings to the value of life.

         How many television shows continue to shoot, rape, rob, torture and victimize others and draw in millions of viewers each and every day?  How do we expect people to have compassion towards one another?  We need to reconnect to those around us; this is something that affects us all.  Children are growing up today who have great difficulty seeing past their own wants and needs.  Adults who are willing to commit violence to get what they want…no matter who they hurt or kill.  Parents who kill children, children who kill parents, siblings, neighbors or friends.  It is as if they do not know how to “feel” appropriately towards anyone outside of themselves.

        Today, i am brought to a deeper sadness than I have felt in a long time regarding our nation and the lack of compassion that our citizens show towards one another. 

         A young man in Florida committed suicide online while others watched and egged him on.  He posted a suicide note…he live-streamed his suicide online; while people WATCHED and did nothing to HELP him.  Not only that, they allegedly ridiculed him and said things like…that isn’t enough medication to kill you!  What amazes me, is that this went on for hours and hours before someone had the good sense to contact the authorities to try to get help for him.   It was too late; he was already dead!

         There are reports that this person may have attempted to kill himself in the past.  So what; so what if it was a false alarm…who and what does it hurt to contact the authorities and have it checked out?  If that person was faking it…he would have been sent somewhere for a psychological exam to find out why he would do such a thing.  Maybe, just maybe he would still be alive today if someone had made an attempt to help him; when he FIRST stated his intention to kill himself.   

         Unfortunately, the young man was not faking the suicide attempt…he was actually crying out for help.  There were many people who had an opportunity to get involved, save a life, make a difference…and yet…they did not.  How can a human being watch another person suffer in front of their very eyes and pile more emotional damage upon that person?  Even if they thought it was a prank, even if they thought the person was not serious, even if they thought it was a waste of time…they failed to react with compassion.  How much more of an effort would it have taken to pick up the phone…or contact the online service that provided the streaming video and asked for someone to follow up on the person’s well-being?  Someone finally did contact help…but…it was much too late for saving his life; but, at least they made an attempt.

           I sure would not want my mind filled with the image of that young man lying on his bed with his back to the camera; filled with despair and depression…curled up in defeat…knowing that he died as I watched and took no action to save his life.  Every life has value and should be preserved.  My heart aches for him, for his family and for his friends…and yes, even for those who watched him die.  They will have to live with the knowledge of what they saw, what they said and did; and, did not do to help a fellow human being in distress.

           Many people in our society are affected by mental illness, or by depression.  It is not a crime…however, it is a crime to fail to get someone help when they need it.  I don’t know if any of those who participated in this suicide by watching it will be held legally responsible or not…but, I do think that they had a moral obligation to get involved in a way that would have attempted to provide some emergency help for this individual.  Depression is a serious matter and so is a suicide attempt.   Please help to educate others on suicide prevention!  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/suicide-prevention/ or on what happens to a suicide victim’s loved ones after the suicide:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=6311509

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      I have been thinking about leadership alot lately and it’s direct connection to success or failure.  Leadership whether it is in government, business, organizations, religions, education or, in personal relationships is very important.  Not everyone can be an effective leader.  There are more followers than leaders; so it is extremely important to follow the right person. 

       Whether a leader is skilled in certain areas determines how successful his/her leadership is.  Leading is not for the fainthearted; you can’t please everyone or, be their friend.  Some of the decisions a good leader has to make are extremely unpopular.  You can have productive relationships though, that are built out of respect, authority, compassion and hard work.  Those who are under your leadership have to know that you are informed and that you respect & understand their sacrifice to get the job done. 

        A good leader knows how to inspire, how to instruct, how to encourage, and how to redirect someone who is misguided, ill informed, has a poor work ethic or is saturated in a poor attitude.  A good leader knows when to use incentives and when praise or recognition will be more effective. 

        I know our country is in the midst of some deep and difficult issues.  Positive and productive leadership has never been more important.  A good leader also recognizes when they are out of their league and seeks a higher counsel…someone who is an expert in the area of concern.  I hope that those who are taking the reins of government leadership in our country are willing to lead with proper education and guidance… it is not a failure to admit that you don’t know all of the answers; it is a failure to not be willing to be educated in those areas.  We have much to accomplish and overcome in a short period of time.

        There is a great new book out by Lee Iacocca on leadership called, Where Have All Of The Leaders Gone?  I recommend reading this one.  This book gives some great advice on leading.  It also gives a bit of background information on the automotive business. 

         With the financial crisis hitting our country and the obviously failing auto industry…Lee’s book is timely.  I suggest that the new President elect Barack Obama consult with Mr. Iacocca on any proposed government bailout loan of the auto industry.  There has been some criticism about President Bush’s alleged lack of response to the auto industry’s struggles.  Now, if the American auto industry fails to succeed…we all will suffer the consequences.  I think that we already have been …but, it is only going to get worse without addressing the issue in a real purposeful way.  They are many businesses and employees who will be affected in a trickle down kind of action if and when the auto industry hits the roadblocks. 

        It would be wise to remember that whenever one major industry fails it generally has a domino effect on those sub-supportive businesses that supply the chain of industry.  We need to figure out some answers before we are all out of jobs.  We must demand competent leadership and hold them to a higher moral & ethical standard of conduct.  We are tired of those in business and industry who are content to take the money at the top and move on when they get their rewards…not caring about the outcome for those under their leadership.  Enough of the high salary CEO’s (or politicians) who don’t look long-term at the consequences of their decisions and their actions.  Americans must demand success in our leaders because the potential impact of failure is unacceptable!

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         I am looking forward to tomorrow on Good Morning America.  Robin Roberts is going to interview the Steven Curtis Chapman family about the loss of their young 5 year old daughter, Maria, in a tragic car accident involving their teenaged son.  Their daughter was adopted from China.  With the Olympics in China in the media, it is a good time to underscore the connections of the human spirit and relationships formed around the world.

         I fully expect there to be anguish…how can you go through something so traumatic as loosing your daughter, at the accidental hands of your teenaged son, and not have anguish?  Then to have the eyes of the world on you as you grieve; it has had to be extremely stressful.  Not to mention the threat of legal proceedings against your teenaged son, hanging over you while you are going through your loss.  There are so many messages that could be presented to the world through this experience, love, loss, safety, spirituality, depression and the list goes on.  God says, he will make good come from all things.   

          This experience would be horrendous for anyone…let alone a Christian family, just because you have the added responsibilities of not wanting to let God down, or fail to encourage others; however, human beings are just that…human…we often fail, even with the best of intentions.  The Chapman family is a family who has brought hope and healing, through music ministry for years; not to mention, opening doors to financial guidance for adoptive parents, creating another avenue for God miracles to impact lives.  Their struggle to find peace in this very difficult time continues…there are things that grief to the surface…questions that demand answers for.  It is as their daughter Emily said… Grief is a very windy road.  It is a struggle to meet all of their children’s emotional needs as they navigate their own ups and downs; but, at least their family is trying to heal together.

          Christians are not immune to tragic circumstances…in fact, i believe that they are given to everyone.  No one is left out of doses of misery, despair, sickness, loss, financial stress etc.  But the Christian bears an extra burden during those times as they are living their lives, as a testimony before others, about God’s grace and mercy.  How to explain the unexplainable?  The old question, why does God let bad things happen?  Oh, King Solomon i am sure, would have an answer to that as he prayed for wisdom and was granted it by God…but truly, only God knows the whys of things.  All we can do is struggle to hang on to our faith and try to grow it through the struggles of life.

        I know that Robin Roberts is a Christian…she has had her own struggles, this past year.  I am most interested in this interview, as i believe that God will impart compassion, grace and understanding in it, to others who are going through their own difficulties.  I pray that hearts will be touched and moved.  Watch tomorrow on good morning america for this moment of heartfelt grief and love and hope.  It will be worth your time!

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       There is something special and unique about the bonding that takes place when people bond through their shared experiences.  Something that i noticed when my parents each went through their cancer diagnosis and treatment sessions…intense bonding with fellow cancer patients and their families.  That bond in those relationships was a lifeline at times.  The fear of the unknown, the medical traumas, the difficult side effects, the kindness of strangers it all blended to remind us that we were not in the situation alone.

         During hospital stays, during chemo treatments, and doctor appointments; my parents and other patients would share things about their families, about their experiences, their struggles, medical information, tips on how to overcome nausea, or how to cope with some of the side effects of the treatments.   Some patients were alone…they had no family or else their family members lived in distant places.  We would adopt them and visiting and trying to support when we could.   It was all very intense. 

        In what amounts to a, down in the trenches, fight for their lives; cancer patients bond in very intense ways.  When fellow patients would struggle…my parents would ask for prayer for them, from us.  We are blessed with a strong family unit.  We would honor the request …knowing that if we needed the favor returned…it would be given automatically by those same cancer patient friends and their families.   We were all in a fraternity; that none of us wanted to be in….but still, we were in it together.

       The losses hit hard.  The emotions were so deep for my parents and for our family.  Each loss, it was understood, could have been ours as well; but for the grace of God.  Each milestone was celebrated.  Waiting for the results of testing was, and is, filled with anxiety and fear.  It is no less worrisome to hear of others around the world who struggle with the same issues.  http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/tnbcinthenews.htm (more…)

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          There is a story out there right now that is making a huge impact on people’s hearts.  It is about a waitress and a restaurant owner.  As most restaurant owners own their businesses to make a profit; I am sure this particular owner in Ontario, Canada is in some ways regretting his decision to temporarily lay off a certain waitress, by the name of Stacy Fearnall, who shaved her head for charity.  Profit or loss determines alot of business owners decisions when running their businesses…I am sure this decision will be no different in the long run.

         It seems that Stacy has lost a few people to cancer and has friends who are, even now, being affected by cancer.  Stacy wanted to remember and honor them.  She wanted to participate in Cops for Cancer which is a charity that raises funds and awareness about the disease.   So by shaving her head, Stacy was able to raise almost three thousand dollars for the charity.  Kudos to Stacy and to the charity!

           However, when she got to work she was allegedly advised to either wear a wig or go home until her hair grew back.  The owner allegedly felt that his customers would be offended.  He has set standards for his employees about how they present themselves.  It seems as if some of the customer’s support his decision…but many others do not.    The power of public opinion will prove itself in the profit or loss numbers since the temporary lay off began.

           It is normally waitresses who get tips; but, i do have one for Mr. Hilliard…have more compassion in your heart and worry less about what people think in regards to the amount of hair one has on their head.  Do you think less of your customers who have bald or shaved heads?  Hair loss is a sensitive subject and one that people feel very strongly about whether it is from cancer or just natural hair loss.   If Mr. Hilliard thinks less of someone with hair loss, maybe he should try inviting those particular customers to come back when they grow hair back on their heads and see what they have to say about such a statement!  How would you handle this situation?

Ps…remember cancer affects us all support cancer research.  www.cancer.org/.   See some generally related articles that i have written.  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/cancer-is-a-thief/. https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2007/11/15/robin-roberts-strength/

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          Does it seem like the news scene is exploding with activity to anyone else but me lately?  Geez…each day there are tons of news stories that are equally important…but, there is not enough time to do them justice so i will just touch briefly on the most noteworthy for today.

            The biggest story is that Hillary Clinton the ended her bid for the Democratic nomination for running for the office of the President of the United States…she says that she endorses Senator Barack Obama now and urges her supporters to throw their support to him in his bid for the office of the President of the United States.  This is newsworthy because their duo quest for the Presidency was historic; Hillary because she was a female running for the job…and him because he is the first African American who was running.  Some of Hillary’s supporters are angry and say they will not vote for Barack.  Both Hillary and Barack are calling for unity in the Party so that a Democratic can win the Presidency from the Republicans.

            Today it was announced that Lynda Carter, the actress who played Wonder Woman, found a body in the Potomac River, Washington.  It was a woman and Lynda didn’t have a cell phone so she called to some fishermen to get help.  She stayed near the body until help arrived.   She said it was something anyone would do.  I beg to differ, as earlier this week…a video showed a person being hit by a car and noone stopping to help him out.  The world is slowly becoming desensitized to people in  need.  Good job Lynda for acting with compassion.

            On a sad note….a person of great renown in the sports world passed away.  Jim McKay a wonderful sportscaster who set the bar for todays new crop of televised sportscasters died at the age of 86 at his home in Maryland of natural causes.  I remember watching him while i grew up and he had a voice that you wanted to listen to.  He could create a natural excitement about whatever sport he was addressing at the time.  He was special.

           Also, the weather is playing a big part in the news this past week.  There has been horrendous storms in the central part of the country.  There have been tornadoes, torrential rains, flooding and lightening strikes.  Right now the National Weather Service has issued warnings for 15 counties in Indiana.  There are several dams that are on the brink of failing…and already widespread flooding is occuring.  Parts of several highways have been shut down due to flooding and people are being evacuated in several areas for the same reason.  With rain predicted off and on over the next few days…the threat could become more widespread for the residents of Indiana.

              Last but not least, the Dow Jones dropped 400 points today and the price of oil jumped again making the leap up 13% in the last two days.  The price of gas continues to fly skyward…making many families fearful about their financial future.  There seems to be no end in sight as to the lengths that the gas/oil industry will push the cost of purchasing the much needed precious fuels that make the world go round.  It is frightening to think what this winter will hold when it comes to gasoline and heating fuels. 

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        When cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar it brought nothing but death and destruction.  The government has been severly overwhelmed and prideful in the past about being able to handle anything.  The whole country is in mourning…but is in crisis mode just to survive themselves.  This is a situation that is going to require help from other nations but, overcoming past suspicions is not easy.  Accepting help that is being offered is going to be the key to rebuilding their country.

          The destruction of land, property, and lives is such, that it is going to take massive relief from other countries.  The sooner the Myanmar government “allows” this help the better.  The numbers are being contested and thrown about here and there…but, there is no doubt that the loss of lives is massive.  It is estimated that over 22,000 people are dead and 41,000 people are unaccounted for or missing.  Those numbers are subject to change and not for the better i am afraid.

         The peoples of Myanmar are angry…angry because of a government crackdown on peaceful protests by monks back in September.  The people of Myanmar don’t feel that the government properly prepared the people for this storm.  Some precautions could have been taken, with proper notice, to find some safety for many of the people.  They were caught unprepared.

           Now, the  Irrawady delta region was flooded by the massive storm surge and not only the lives were lost but the area of the delta which is called the rice bowl.  This is where the large portions of rice were grown and produced.  This will have long lasting effects on the country because of the lives lost and the ability to earn income in that area that was devastated.

        The government of Myanmar did ask for assistance from other countries which is unheard of.  This should tell us that the circumstances are dire indeed.  Now, relief efforts are underway.  This will require large scale coordination of aid workers.

        Fresh water, food supplies, building supplies, medicines and clothing and other basic necessities are scarce.  This is all in relation to the damage from the storm.  Think about the large scale need to bury this many bodies before disease sets in to the area. I am sure that the military will have to pitch in to help bury this many dead people.   These deaths could cause massive infections and diseases if the bodies of those lost is not properly taken care of. 

          In the meantime, cleaning up the damage is critical to getting the aid workers into the region.  Giving them room to work that is safe for those offering help.  Pray for those who are grieving and trying to survive physically at the same time.  Time and genuine human compassion are required not to mention funding.   Relief efforts will also require teamwork.  The fear is going to be tremendous at a time like this.   We need to unite at times like this…because, therefore, but for the grace of God…this disaster could be visited upon any of our countries, at any time. 

        

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