Compassionate Options

So in terms of compassion, what should we do? First, it’s clear that no matter what we do, injustice and suffering will continue to exist within our lifetime — we cannot individually affect the root causes. So should we at least try to comfort the afflicted as best we can? Hold their hands and tell them it’s okay?

If someone receives joy from expressing compassion, then yes, they should comfort those in distress. If someone receives joy from helping others, whether successful or not, then they should help. The logical thing to do, is to do what we enjoy, and only as far as our enjoyment takes us, limiting our own anger and misery.

And we can attempt our compassion via any mechanism we’re comfortable with. Some prefer direct involvement, while others indirect. Some try to directly upgrade individual lives, others set out to raise awareness and change opinions.

And this is not a band-aid approach to suffering, we’re not pointlessly trying to address the outward injuries while ignoring the underlying causes. We’re just fulfilling our role as compassionate beings and enjoying the process. We’re not under the illusion that we’re changing the nature of the world, but we realize that as suffering exists, the ability to alleviate it also exists.


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