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  • Writer's pictureHoward McBroom

A Movement for Compassion

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

I am so overwhelmed by all the cruelty in our society today. I’m an Indiana University grad; I graduated in 1977. There was a 20-year-old from IU, my university, who wanted to go to New York to see the city. When he finally got there, he was murdered. 20 years old. An IU student like me. Always wanted to see New York. He was a very promising young man - friendly, caring, bright, but he was killed by a stray bullet in the city he had always wanted to see. I am overwhelmed by the cruelty in our society, intentional as well as unintentional. We need to start a movement for compassion. Not by any particular political movement or political agenda, but we need to start it nonetheless. We desperately need this. We need more compassion and kindness in our society. We need respect for human life. These are very basic things. Respecting people. Caring for them. Whatever problems there may be, you don’t solve them with a gun. That needs to be taught. The 20-year-old college student who was killed in New York, he had a great future ahead of him. He was a very compassionate person. He was bright, funny, smart. He would have contributed a lot to society, but he was shot dead. Every time somebody gets murdered, we lose a contribution to society. That has to stop. And the way to stop it is to start a movement for compassion and mercy and caring. We need to teach and promote these skills. We can’t survive in a society that has this much cruelty and violence in it. We must relearn how to be compassionate towards other people. We must teach our children to consider the consequences of violence. We don’t care enough about consequences; we just allow people to be violent. And there is no future in that.

We need classes in school that teach compassion. At home, parents need to teach empathy. We need to set up mentoring programs to teach angry people a better way of doing things. We can do it. We can learn these skills. We can teach these skills. It’s not all that hard to learn how to be a kind, successful person when people teach you how to do it. I learned how to do it. I learned a better way of living. Successful people do not resort to violence. They don’t have cruelty or contempt or a total lack of concern for human life. In fact, just the opposite. They have a great degree for human life and compassion and mercy. And that is one of the things that makes them successful. Successful people don’t hate. They have compassion, empathy, and kindness and work night and day to help others. This is the way to go. This is what we need. We don’t need political speeches. We need simple human compassion and mercy. Political speeches are all well and good, but political agendas are not going to make us a better society. What will make us a better country is being compassionate and caring toward others. A country where human lives are valued and respected once again.

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