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10 Jun
2017
It Takes One To Know One.
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Why India Needs A Lesson In Compassion And Today.

I believe compassion is an underrated quality.

Arjun Bhardwaj’s story of suicide was the talk among circles last month.

To remind you, he is the young man in his twenties who recorded minutes before his death on Facebook Live.

His video went viral, along with the news of his demise.

I live with Psychology students, and the discussion on his suicide was limited to feeling hurt, and wishing he had reached out to the right person.

The word on the street was much different.

I was taken aback by the cruel nature of the Facebook comments, and how distastefully media covered his death.

Their words lacked sympathy, empathy, and sometimes, even logic.

Instead of identifying his battle with depression and drug abuse, they were busy trying to bad mouth him.

What India lacks right now, is a lesson in compassion.

A lesson in how to be helping and empathic to someone - even when there is no one is asking for it.

Compassion is the desire to relieve the suffering of someone.

It is the pull to provide support to someone.

It is a natural instinct within us all, and like most emotions, we stifle it back in fear.

This fear may or may not be rational, but it causes us to think twice before helping someone.

Compassion is not limited to helping someone. It is about listening to someone and understanding their pain.

It is about identifying what is hurting them and helping them cope with it.

In the case of the young man, compassion was to identify the role of depression and drug abuse in his death.

It was to understand that what happened was unfortunate, help his loved ones cope with it, and build awareness in the country so we don’t lose a young life to suicide ever again.

I am a strong advocate for compassion. It benefits not only the receiver but the giver as well.

You do not have to condone what they have done or support it!

Compassion just means that you understand them a little bit more.

It means that you are open to understanding their side of the story, without any judgment.

Compassion is not limited to saying calming words, or financial or physical support.

It is about being there for someone - stranger or intimate.

It is to have a degree of softness towards the circumstances of someone else. It is that simple.

I was molested when I was 15. A chain of events followed soon ensued, and something which I did not expect happened.

I was ridiculed. They blamed the length of my shorts, and that I walked around in a Delhi suburb alone.

The ridicule that followed the event affected my mental state more than the act of molestation.

At a time when I needed compassion, kind words, and help, I received judgment and disregard.

I did not expect people to sympathize or feel sorry.

I wanted a kind hug, warm words, and a nod while they listened to my side of the story.

Compassion is important.

It may seem like a small act from your side, but it could mean the world to someone else.

Don’t do it because you feel guilty.

Do it because you want to see this stranger or friend smile.

Don’t be bitter if they do not respond in the best way.

You should know deep inside that they appreciate it more than they can show.

My questions to my readers are -

Why do we need to save moments of compassion for the days when there is an earthquake or tsunami?

Why do we need to restrict compassion for those who need it the most?

Why do we need to receive compassion in order to provide compassion?

Be compassionate to everyone. They do not need to be in a life altering circumstance to feel pain. They don’t need to show pain to be in pain.

Be compassionate to the people who do not need it and the people who do.

Everybody wants a little sunshine here and there.

Lastly, they do not owe you anything for it. It’s absolutely selfless.

Then what do I gain from being compassionate?

One, you become free from your anger, guilt, and resentment. It can be the most emotionally liberating experience.

Being there for someone selflessly can make you feel more positive and thankful for what you have in your life.

Two, you become a better friend! Everybody wants to be noticed and acknowledged for their strife.

We all want to be heard. We all want to be reassured that we are not alone. So be there for them, just like you would want someone to be there in your time of need.

Help them out.

So, why can’t making someone happy be an achievement? Why can’t compassion be a skill that can be developed and improved? Why can’t we all help each other up, rather than tear each other done?

Why not?

Image Courtesy - Akshata Timmapur. Show some love. :)

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