Compassion, by definition, is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. In our modern society, compassion plays a major role in the act of kindness. Many people believe that doing a good deed is a selfless act since they do not get nothing in return. Others believe that doing a good deed to make you feel good about yourself is selfish. It is a theory that causes you to ponder on the purpose of compassion. In Barbara Lazear Ascher’s essay, On Compassion, she contemplates this theory. By using a variety of writing techniques, Ascher is able to share her views on compassion in way that speaks to the audience.
The example that affected me the most was when there was a homeless man walking across the street towards a mother and child. Due to instinct, the mother held the carriage closer and harder. To ensure the safety of her and her child, she gave him money. It was not that she felt compassion for him, but instead, she thought that this would keep him from harming herself and her child. It was not that the man acted in any unacceptable way, but that the woman and child were the ones at risk. The author shows compassion as more of a transaction as “the man stands and stares.” The fixed stare made her feel uneasy and nervous. It is as if time stopped. it was not a genuine act of kindness on the mother’s part or that she felt sympathetic for him. There is symbolism of protection “[when the mother] passes a folded dollar over her child’s head.” The man “does not know that acceptance of the gift and gratitude are what make this transaction complete.” It is visible that the woman only offers to help the man out of
Compassion is learned through experience and seeing those less fortunate; it brings out sympathy because one cannot ignore it when unfortunate people are everywhere.
“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal”. This quote by Steve Maraboli may be hard to understand, but the Holocaust texts: Night by Elie Wiesel, “A Three Year Old Saves His Mother” by Peter Gorog and “Jakob's Story” by Jakob Blankitny are great examples of where compassion is necessary to fight the despair in heartbreaking situations. In each work, compassion shows up from unexpected sources, helps motivate people to survive, and creates greater unification.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss (...) These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen” (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross). Compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern make mankind beautiful, but it also makes it defenseless . When one has concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others, he takes sacrifices, risks, and lives with uncertainty. When man is compassionate, he lives a vulnerable life. Love and compassion bring out the beauty in mankind, but they can also bring out its weaknesses. Because of man’s compassion, he
The author gives humanistic reasons on why people are compassionate. For example, a poor man was in the way of a mother and her baby so the mother scrambled around her purse to find change to give him. After the money was given to him, he stood there not knowing that taking the money and saying thank you was the end of that situation so he just stares at the baby, until the mother gets impatient and scrolls away. “Was it fear or compassion that motivated the gift?” In the passage she explains to the audience of a fresh bread shop and an old man. Entering
Elie Wiesel talks about compassion because the lack of it caused the Holocaust. Compassion was needed during that event because no one felt for the Jews. If the Germans showed sincerity and empathy, the killing wouldn't have happened. Also, he talks about compassion because he wants the new generation to know about it. That is because the new generation will be the next generation of people in the world. So they must know to care for others during dark times. Finally, he talks about compassion because it is an important part of humanity. For us humans to live peacefully, we must show compassion.
Compassion impels us to work to alleviate the suffering of our fellow man, to remove ourselves from the center of our world and put another there, and to honor the sanctity of every single person treating everybody, without exception, with justice, equity and respect.
Coherent use of vocabulary and figures of speech led to a cohesive flow in the essay On Compassion, which contributes to its effectiveness. Words such as “rummages,” “navigates,” “stave,” and “expulsion,” to name a few, are robust words found within the essay that help it to appear as logically-based and well-written. Moreover, these words aid in creating the aura of compassion and gratitude, which is the purpose of the essay. Figures of speech, for instance, “Like a bridegroom waiting at the altar, his eyes pierce the white veil,” are used to make the essay more easily relatable and also provide a witty comparison to an idea that is more common.
Jonathan Bennett argues that we should learn to find a balance between sympathy and morality. That is where we will find peace. If we always make decisions based on what is considered morally correct or always based off of sympathy, that would be considered bad
Are people born with a complete quandary when it comes to compassion or is it something that has always been there? Barbara Lazear Ascher, born in 1946, writes, “On Compassion.” Having lived in New York City, Ascher is able to take first hand examples from the city to show the affection people have towards each other. Ascher is able to illustrate that compassion is something that has to be taught because of the adversity at people’s heels by including tone, persuasive appeals, and the mode of comparing and contrast in her essay, “On Compassion.”
Compassion, what is it? Is it a human right? What does it mean to you? That is only a few of the things we will be discuss . First before we discuss we will talk about a man who survived the Holocaust. Now you are probably like “how does the Holocaust have anything to do with compassion.” A Lot which you will find out soon. But the man im talking about is Elie Wiesel he survived the Holocaust and lost his family during it. He wrote a book about the horror and the death. Well let's answer some of the question.
Compassion has little to no boundries. In almost every great story there is a specific character or a group of characters that help the protagonist because they feel bad for them. Compassion is the most important aspect of a functioning society; therefore, Elie Wiesel’s Night, 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose, and the generosity of spirit shown by the average citizen after the recent shooting in Las Vegas are all perfect examples.
Throughout the short story, Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville, the author magnifies certain themes by using the actions and reactions of the main characters. By using the themes: alienation, man’s desire to avoid conflict, and man’s desire to keep a free conscience, the author conveys a mood of compassion and sympathy towards all people, even lawyers. In today’s society, to many, it seems as if people do not treat others with as much compassion as they should. However, there are some examples of comparisons between today’s society and text evidence found in Bartleby the Scrivener that prove compassion to be present. Beside the estimated 150 year time frame, these examples display that the themes
Empathy is an innate trait that all humans have and it is the one that we most readily feel, while compassion is a feeling that must be acquired. Ascher astutely points out that “empathy is the mother of compassion” (par.13). In this noteworthy parallel, Ascher compares empathy to a nurturing mother and compassion to the fruit of her labor. Like a mother who has an inherent instinct to protect and teach her young, so too does one have an innate understanding and sensitivity to the feelings and experiences of another, and it is only from these life experiences that the birth of a new awareness is brought forth in the form of compassion. Similar to a mother’s tutelage, Ascher describes compassion as a “learned” behavior that allows one to consciously act upon the distress of others by actively alleviating it. According to Ascher, “Compassion is not a character trait like a sunny disposition. It must be learned, and it is learned by having adversity at our window…” (par.13). In other words, true compassion can only be learned when one is faced with it every day of ones life and that once it becomes “familiar”, only then it can become identifiable and conjure empathy.