Life in progress

#SoCS – Compassion


How do we draw the line on compassion? Most of us have it, to some degree or another. It begins with learning how to share, in our toddler years. Which is probably one of the reasons those of us who lack it tend to bring up children who lack it too. Does it begin with consumerism? With the idea that if we work hard for something, it’s ours? Perhaps.

Where do we draw the line on who we’re willing to share with? We have compassion, naturally, for our family and friends. For those we care about who we have met. But how about the strangers we pass every day on the street? How about people who are marginalized and bullied… by even some of our governments? From the outside looking in, it seems to me there are two types of people – those who believe they and they alone are entitled to what they’ve worked for, and those who reach out and go to great lengths to help everyone. Or at least anyone they encounter.  Of course there are those of us who only wish we could save the world, and would if we had the resources.

I went in to a Tim Horton’s today for a bite to eat. Outside, there was a woman sitting with her back against the wall with a sign that read “Broke and Hungry.” She asked me as I walked in the door if I had any change. I told her I didn’t – it was the truth. I keep my change at home, saved for Alex’s bus rides. While I was sitting in the restaurant, the staff went outside and told her to leave. I didn’t think that was very fair.

I see people begging for money online all the time. Sometimes for money to save their lives, sometimes for things they simply want. I saw someone trying to raise $6,000 the other day so they could publish their book. I wanted to shake them and tell them there’s someone trying to scam you… do it yourself for free. And there are people out there with their tin cups… really, what’s the difference? One is braving the harsh weather, the other is using a device likely worth more than the outdoor beggar could hope for in a month. Yet who are we more likely to give our money to? Somehow, $5 on Paypal seems less than a dollar in cash, doesn’t it?

Does our compassion need to be clean? Do we find our sharing only worthy of going to those who can ask most eloquently… those who spend the most time in our faces?

Are we more likely to share with those who we have things in common? Yes? Why? How do we draw the line, when we consider everyone to be equal in our humanity? We all deserve to live. We all deserve what we work hard for. Yet sharing and compassion is what separates us from animals. It’s what makes us human.

Giving feels good. So give. I challenge you. No matter how.


This challenging post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Check it out!

Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

16 thoughts on “#SoCS – Compassion

  1. Pingback: Me in the Middle of Giving | Me In The Middle

  2. We can all benefit from more compassion, and, as has been attributed to Buddha, including ourselves in our circle of compassion. I like to keep packs of peanut butter crackers or granola bars in my car to offer to people asking for food or change. It’s not much, but it’s something.


  3. Excellent post Linda compassion is key but we all need to learn this !!


  4. Very thoughtful SoC. I struggle with this. I’ve been in dire need, and loathe to ask for help. I’ve gotten help from the most surprising places and people, without asking for it (although writing about then current circumstances made it clear things were bad). I’ve faced the judgment and ill-will of those who see anyone on government assistance as “less than.” I’m in a better place than I was, but still dirt poor and struggling, but wanting to help others, and I do, in small ways. But there *are* people who scam. And even taking them out of the equation, “there will be poor always” and you can’t help everyone, but that shouldn’t stop us from helping one, but where do you draw the line, and…augh! Excellent post.


  5. Beautifully said Linda. 🙂


  6. Very thoughtful post we need to hear this more often. That is too bad Tim Horton’s staff told the person to move away. Downtown on Ste Catherine St, I used to often to a Tim Horton’s on near Guy and several homeless people would come into the place to ask for money and they were never told to leave. I don’t see how being outside is wrong. We just have to say yes or no. I pass at least a dozen or more homeless people and panhandlers on my way to work and a different group late at night. If I have change (which here in Canada is 5cent to $2.00 coins) I will give. Yet I rarely have money on me…plastic/debit is the only way I can save money.


  7. A beautiful suggestion and one worth carrying with us…


  8. This is a pretty thought-provoking post, Linda. I like to think of myself as a compassionate person, and i try to bring my daughter up that way too. I usually give her the money to give to the homeless man or the charity collector.It is tricky as she does not feel empathy or compassion much due to her autism.
    One thing that does annoy me though is when I charity I already support tries to make me give more money by playing on my emotions!


  9. I loved this post 😍
    And tbh I was the only child so sharing was not in my Forte. But as I grew and became more mature you learn that you don’t want others to be that way towards you so you have to treat others the way you want to be treated.

    – Growing up in a big city known as Philly, there are plenty of homeless men it’s not impossible to see woman but in my encounters not that man. But homeless men flood the downtown streets. One time while I was probable in 10th grade I walked by a man who asked for some food. I decided to take him into 7Eleven and told him to get whatever he wanted. He was so in shock I believe he only bought 3 things.

    -As an adult now, I tend to help some and not others and some meaning people that I may work with that just seem to stay in some junk. He got locked up for something dumb and they were raising money so he could make his bonds money (I think). They asked me and I said HELL NO, one day that man is going to learn and by yall aiding him he is not learning.

    -Being in the military you will work with various age groups starting from 18 to 60. Since the government sees you as an adult and you walk around calling yourself grown welp get your grown a$% out of jail.


  10. very thoughtful post on a difficult topic. Thanks, Linda!


  11. Much to think about in this post. We can each show our compassion in different ways according to our means. I’m wary of the internet ‘begging’. Just curious. When you said we can publish our book for free, were you speaking of just creating the pages on our websites? Thank you, Linda! 🙂


    • I’m always wary of people asking for money on the internet too. Unless it’s someone I’ve gotten to know.
      Publishing on Kindle and Kobo costs nothing. E-book publishing is free itself, though it’s always a good idea to have an editor look over your work. And print-on-demand services such as Createspace only charge you for the books you print and have shipped to you. Books ordered off their site go directly to the customer and you receive a royalty.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on Darswords and commented:
    This falls in with some of my thinking lately.


  13. Pingback: Satiating Saturdays – Challenge Yourself ✨ – Emotions That Matter.

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