When others express compassion, it gives us hope. Compassion means more than just having feelings of sympathy, it means there is a desire from the compassionate person to help. When we receive the help we have hope for something better.
At church, we host five teenagers every summer to work in the gardens. They are paid by the city of Rochester. It works out, the teens have jobs and we have the labor to grow fresh vegetables for the challenged population in the Beechwood neighborhood. At the end of this past summer, one of the young men told us his story. He needed money for his family who were struggling. He was trying to get a job with hours that would not interfere with his high school classes. We felt compassion for his plight and we hired him and nurtured him. He started to feel hopeful for something better.
Sometimes we aren’t in a position to help but maybe we know someone who is.
Sometimes our help is not about being able to provide employment, sometimes it’s about just accompanying a person through a tough time.
Sometimes it’s just about giving the person the benefit of the doubt.
We don’t know what is going on in the lives of the person tailgating us, or cutting us off, or grabbing our grocery cart, or whatever bad behavior is happening around us. But we can ask “How can I help?” And sometimes, that’s all it takes.