The Oxford English Dictionary says that compassion is ‘the feeling or emotion, when a person is moved by the suffering or distress of another, and by the desire to relieve it’. Humanity means ‘human beings collectively’ or ‘the quality of being humane’ also by Oxford. Planet. A planet is a large celestial body which orbits around the sun. The solar system consists of seven other planets other than our own but what makes earth so special? It is the only planet which has an atmosphere suitable for life. It has water, the perfect constitution of the atmosphere, land to live on, trees for a never ending supply of oxygen, animals to keep the food chain balanced. The problem is that this is not the only thing that makes it different from other planets. It is also the only planet which is hurting.
Mother Earth does for us what every mother does for her child. She nurtures us, provides us with food and more than anything gives us life. She gives and gives but all we do is selfishly take. Never once thinking to give back. We cut down our trees not hearing the pained cries coming from them with every strike of the axe. We murder our animals for fun ignoring the sound of the footsteps of extinction growing louder with every animal. We seem to enjoy burning a bigger and bigger hole in our ozone by using products which we know will cause harm. We love more than anything increasing the levels of all gases harmful to make Mother Earth a furnace. When she retaliates with forest fires and tsunamis – trying to warn us of what our futures look like – we pay no heed. We always talk about how other people are not doing enough to save our planet but we never take a step back to see what we as individuals are doing. We are always so quick to comment on other people. Compassion is the feeling which moves a person on seeing another’s suffering and the desire to relieve it then why are we not doing everything in our power to help our planet, or trees our atmosphere. We need to show compassion towards animals and not brutally slit their throats just for the thrill of it. We need to show compassion towards our land and not pollute it and inject it with toxins by calling them fertilizers and insecticides. We need to show compassion to our water and not dump all our garbage in our rivers and lakes. We need to show compassion towards our atmosphere and reduce our carbon footprint. We need to show compassion towards our trees and not throw an axe at one every chance we see. These components of nature are what help us to survive. Planets are CELESTIAL BODIES. They are heavenly. They are Godly and we are causing pain to the most unique of them all.
Humanity. We are a component of Mother Earth as well. We are the caretakers of our beautiful planet. Humans are said to be the smartest animals in the world. Why would we not be? We have created the most intelligent pieces of artificial intelligence. We have the gift of speech and language. We have been to space and back. Our comprehension skill just from those examples is amazing and yet we do not seem to comprehend compassion. Humanity means the quality of being humane. We are humanity and yet when I open the newspaper I see news of a nine year old girl being raped by multiple men. I see that a man was killed by the police just because the color of his skin is different. I see people being hurt for who they choose to love and identify as. When our children grow up in a society like this they are not taught compassion and acts of kindness they are taught violence is key. They are taught that being different is wrong. They are taught fear. Those who try to stand up against our society’s outrageous norms and shut down immediately. They are mocked. They are threatened. They are told that they are wrong when all that they are trying to do is stand up for what is right. They just want justice for that little nine year old girl but they are told that they should not speak up about such topics in public. They stand up for equality but there is no such thing as equality when nobody is discriminating against you. They stand up for love but how could they stand up for something so unholy. How dare they be accepting. How dare they show kindness to another. How dare they be compassionate. Compassion is not only shown to another but to ourselves as well. We need to stop telling ourselves that we are not enough, that we are not beautiful, that we will be a failure in life. No matter what society tells us. Every person is beautiful. Everybody is talented and above all everybody is enough. Your feelings are valid. You emotions are valid. You are valid. We are the caretakers of our Gaia but how are we going to be kind to her when we cannot be kind to each other and ourselves. To prove that compassion has healing properties we can talk about Halden prison in Norway. It is a maximum security prison housing few of the most dangerous prisoners. When the prisoners enter they are greeted with a handshake. They are treated like humans. They have their own kitchen to cook in. They are taught skills which will help them get a job once they are released. The maximum sentence which a judge can give a criminal is twenty one years. Norway has the lowest recidivism rate in the world at about twenty percent. Mark Twain once said “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
Author – Yashasvini Raj