Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Compassion -- "A Thousand Miles in Their Shoes"

"Syrian refugees risk everything for a chance at survival" see link  below

My heart breaks for them, the Syrian refugees. After the Holocaust I vowed and I thought it would NEVER happen again; that the world would not turn its back on those desperate fleeing for life. I put my feet in their shoes and can do that easily because I know, as a Jew, what it is like for the world (including this nation at that fateful time) to turn its back and through its inaction act as if we did not matter. But we DID matter.

Yes, in this context, ALL life matters ... ALL of it. We must try each and every one of us in our own way to say NO to cruelty, NO to inhumanity and YES, to our fellow humans who are in trouble and need our help. The refugees are in trouble and need many to help; to extend their hand and say I understand and will help you. We must put our feet in their shoes and if someday each one of us needs help it will be there for us too.

We are human after all, the species with the big brains capable of compassion. Nature put that ability to be compassionate in us for a reason -- we do better as a group when we care about not just a religion, not just a tribe, not just an ethnicity but we are better when we care about all who need help and we all do better if we lend a hand.

Be kind, says the Old and New Testament, to the stranger because you were strangers once in a strange land! Compassion is a lesson for the ages but it is especially a lesson for us now in our never ending atmospheres of violence and hate!