First of all, let’s look at a problem brought upon oneself. As I sit here I wonder how many ‘problems’ of daily living I haven’t actually brought upon myself. Anything genetic I have no responsibility for, for instance if I was born with a particular malady. Okay. Tick. But, what about the other things? If I stub my toe, the chair did not jump out into my path and cause me to stub it, I just didn’t pay attention to its presence in my course of walking and now, I’m in pain. Serious pain. Do I want someone to pat me on the back, give me something to bite down on, ask me if I’m okay? Yes. I do. Did I bring it on myself? Yes, I was careless. Okay, what about the more willful things that we do. Let’s see. I decided to watch the 32nd episode of some programme and as a result, the dinner I said I’d make becomes a plea for McDonalds. Do I expect some understanding? Usually. I will have some reason for zoning out rather than being responsible. I was tired. I didn’t feel well. I had worked hard all day and I just wanted to relax. All lame excuses for falling through on a committment. So, now, I have a bigger problem. I’ve dissapointed the person I promised. Did I bring it on myself? Yes, I was simply thinking of myself and my perceived needs more than keeping my word.
Okay, now let’s look at the word ‘deserve’: to be worthy (having sufficient worth, value or importance), fit, or suitable for some reward or requital (merriam-webster online dictionary). Ah, now. So, what makes someone worthy of something? Is it their actions? Or is it because they are a viable human being with the same value as the next fella?
So then, compassion is sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it (merriam-webster online dictionary).
What valuable person out there is a suitable recipient of another person’s attention to help meet their need? All.
What if they are manipulating circumstances to get their way? To cash in on your compassion? What then? Jesus simply said: Love one another. He left no caveats.
My brain still screams–how do you do this without being used? Rest assured, there will always be those who abuse the gift of compassion. But, that should not stop us from giving it.