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Thought for the day - (Compassion) Monday

Updated on September 1, 2016
Homeless man with his dog
Homeless man with his dog
Salvation Army "soup kitchen"
Salvation Army "soup kitchen"
Disabled soldier - London Marathon 13 days 2 hours 50 minutes - can this man give more?
Disabled soldier - London Marathon 13 days 2 hours 50 minutes - can this man give more?
From the strong came forth gentleness.
From the strong came forth gentleness. | Source
Comforting a friend in need
Comforting a friend in need
Can you really walk by without at least a spare coin.
Can you really walk by without at least a spare coin.
Don't forget their faithful dog. Can you spare an odd can of dog food, perhaps a flavour our pampered pets no longer like.
Don't forget their faithful dog. Can you spare an odd can of dog food, perhaps a flavour our pampered pets no longer like.
At the supermarket we can drop an extra can or packet of food for the "food bank" to help those in need.
At the supermarket we can drop an extra can or packet of food for the "food bank" to help those in need.

There are many things in life we could wish for, but one stands out that sets us aside from most creatures and that is compassion. In the animal kingdom the survival of the fittest predominates, the need for food and to breed overrides almost all other considerations. The fiercest animal can be tender and loving to its young and, in some cases, its partner but nevertheless it is merciless in dealing with its prey or rival.

As humans possess a supposed higher intelligence we have a slightly greater range of emotions some of which are not necessary for personal survival. The majority of us like to think we live a calm, kind and caring life and for the most part we do. However, there are occasions when all that is temporarily forgotten and our aggressive side comes to the surface. It’s no good denying it, up it pops every time another driver cuts us up, you hear people swearing in the street, noise, blazing lights, disagreements etc, etc. Dealing with this is not compassion but it is a good lesson in how to control our feelings.

Compassion is much deeper, it’s something that we tend to feel doesn’t apply to us – but it does and it can make a huge difference to others. Showing compassion is not for our benefit, it is very much for those around us or those into whose contact we come, however briefly.

It takes a little thought but there are many simple ways we can make others’ lives just that little more tolerable.

I am a long standing member of a worldwide society that whilst inward looking also understands and practices charity (in the true sense) and compassion. I live a comfortable life but occasionally try to put myself in the position of those less fortunate than myself. I was taught to visualise being in a position where somebody asks me for help when I really have absolutely nothing to give - what would my feeling and reaction be.

I would hope that if I were ever in such dire straights someone would be compassionate enough to help a little – perhaps not for me personally but for my family. When I first visited the USA and Canada some decades ago now, I was horrified to see just how many destitute people live by begging and hand-outs in what you would suppose were highly civilised country. The UK is not exempt from this and we have our share.

In the evenings when I went out for my stroll I used to take a pocket full of loose change and small denomination bills to give to those I thought were in need. I came across an old lady, one evening, huddled in a doorway gradually being covered in flurries of snow with only a threadbare shawl for protection. I could walk by, like most others, but how could I ? I asked a police officer if there were any shelters nearby and he just shrugged and said “yeah but they charge 10 bucks for a roof and meal”. Going to the old lady I pressed a 10 dollar bill into her hand and said “come on mother let’s get you somewhere warm”.

OK so she got a warm bed but I, obviously don’t know whatever happened to her later. Everywhere I went in the great cities of North America, in the evenings, I saw sad people with their Styrofoam cups outstretched the blank hopeless look in their eyes. What could I do ? Effectively nothing – I’m just one person in millions. All I can achieve are acts of random compassion, to imagine myself as that person, begging and hoping someone would see me and take pity.

So people, we can help a little, we can show the compassion that is in all of us and help all those (including animals) to live with less fear and hunger and a little more comfort similar to the way that most of us are lucky to enjoy.

However, don't think compassion needs money, if you have none to spare, then remember that in many cases compassion just needs a kind act, a helpful hand or just a kind word.

Further information

If you feel you can help those in need there are many organisation that would welcome an additional pair of hands or good quality warm clothing. It is surprising what you can achieve at little or no expense. Go through your wardrobe and see what good quality clothing you will never wear again. Be ruthless but donate useful clothes - cocktail dresses or damaged or dirty clothes with holes or rips are as useless to them as to you. Don't forget good or new underwear but forget sexy scanties, they need utility wear to keep them warm.

What do you feel about helping those in need ?

See results

© 2012 Peter Geekie


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    • Peter Geekie profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Geekie 

      4 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear crayonbrains,

      Glad you liked it, thanks for your comment.

      kind regards Peter

    • crayonbrains profile image


      4 years ago from The World Is Mine !

      Great hub ! Thanks for sharing.

    • Peter Geekie profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Geekie 

      5 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear Jane I'm sorry it upset you but what I hoped to achieve was to make people stop for a moment and think about what they could do for others.

      Kind regards Peter

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      These thoughts for the day are very different to those from the church.

      I can understand these and maybe see how they work in normal life.This one makes me cry

    • Peter Geekie profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Geekie 

      6 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Thank you Movie Master

      I'm not a very good Christian but I try to live my life in a caring and compassionate manner, its the least and the best I can do.

      Kind regards Peter

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Peter, a very thought provoking article, I enjoyed reading this.

      A little compassion costs nothing - only some thought, but is worth so much!

      Thank you and voted up.

      Best wishes Lesley

    • Peter Geekie profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Geekie 

      6 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Thank you tammyswallow,

      I'm pleased you liked it. Compassion is the one thing we can give without financial cost but means so much to those with nothing.

      Kind regards Peter

    • tammyswallow profile image


      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Some wonderful deep thoughts for a Monday morning. Very well written. I think with our advance functioning as human beings we do have a responsibility to be compassionate as you have stated. Great thoughts!

    • Peter Geekie profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Geekie 

      6 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear SweetiePie

      You've again hit the nail on the head with your assessment of the Veterans. In common with our American friends we have lost hundreds of soldiers in a war of dubious value and we have created a pool of mentally disturbed men who have returned mentally damaged.

      They return a stranger to their wives and children and eventually end up homeless on the streets with no hope.

      We have a man in our area that really was SAS but returned mentally disturbed. He now lives on the street, drinking heavily and dressed in women’s clothes. He is not helped and is the butt of abuse until he turns his considerable strength on his tormentors who he flattens.

      There is an old poem by Kipling dating from the First World War, which is particularly apt and the final verse which goes something like: (incidentally a “Tommy” is a First World War British soldier)

      You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:

      We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.

      Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face

      The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

      For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "

      But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot;

      An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;

      An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

      And that pretty much sums up the attitude of both the British and American public.

      Kind regards Peter

    • SweetiePie profile image


      6 years ago from Southern California, USA

      It is sad when people in my own country do not care about our homeless, but someone from the UK is more concerned. I would like to see more invested in our economy so there were option to help everyone find a job and a home rather than give more tax cuts to the wealthy. In America right now if feels like everyone is worried about giving the wealthiest Americans tax cuts so they can supposedly create more jobs, but they continue to create the jobs overseas in sweatshops where they underpay their employees.

      Another problem with the homelessness is a lot of those people you see on the streets are veterans, which just goes to show how war is not a good thing. Some conservatives love to go to war and talk about how patriotic that all is, but then when these men and women come back from war psychologically disturbed, a lot of people do not care enough to help them. 25% of the homeless people in our area are veterans, and maybe even higher. I think it would be good to stop going to war, and maybe create true jobs for all people.

    • Peter Geekie profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Geekie 

      6 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Thank you Rhonda

      Compassion is one thing we can all give whether we are rich or poor.

      kind regards peter

    • Rhonda D Johnson profile image

      Rhonda D Johnson 

      6 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow

      We all live in the same universe and the energy we released into that universe. So it is to our benefit that we act with compassion. There are different personality types. Some seem gruff but are still compassionate.

      Thanks Peter

    • Peter Geekie profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Geekie 

      6 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear mhatter99

      Sometimes the small things in life can have the greatest impact

      Kind regards Peter

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this insight

    • Peter Geekie profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Geekie 

      6 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear Writer20,

      My file copy is on its way to you

      Kind regards Peter

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Great hub to read and this world is such a sad one with so many people in need.

      Voted up and interesting, Joyce.

      Peter you wrote a hub on 'Motor Nurone Disease' then unpublished it. My father and brother both died of this.

      Here's my email address, I am very interested to read what you have written


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