Friday, February 20, 2015

#1000Speak: 1000 Voices for Compassion

I've been feeling that compassion is sorely lacking in the world around me of late, so I was thrilled to learn of this hashtag movement for #1000Speak. Check it out on all your socials--you'll find some great writing about the idea of compassion.

Compassion is probably the one lessons I truly want to hammer home for my children (including the ones I only claim when they are at school with me).  The idea is simple enough: consider the other person.  Think about what that person might be feeling. Consider that there is history you are unaware of that might make a small thing more painful than it seems on the surface.

Around the middle school I teach in are several versions of the idea, hanging on posters outside various teachers' classrooms. In middle school, we have to fight the blurt factor. Kids this age have a thought and say it without considering the consequences or the effect on others. They often don't have ill intent at heart; they simply didn't THINK:
Now the kids at my middle school are just that: kids. So when they blurt something hurtful out, we, the adults, step in and try to mitigate the pain caused, rebuild the bridges burnt, and encourage kids to learn from the teachable moment. 

But what happens among the adults out there? The ones who value their own zinger of a joke over the heart of a human being, or who have simply never outgrown their adolescent narcissism? For me, I've started to call them on it. Bullying among adults is just as large a problem as it is among children. Larger, maybe, because the kids are more likely to learn and outgrow it. But bullies will keep bullying as long as they get away with it. So, when you see it, speak up! It's not as small as it sounds.


  1. Very good post, Samantha. Interesting and thought provoking.

  2. Compassion is the greatest thing you can pass on. It is the greatest thing we, as humans, can give one another. Excellent post!

  3. The lack of compassion is a worrying trend, especially on social media. I say "social media" because I sincerely hope that people wouldn't act so horribly if they were face to face.

    I'll never forget Justine Sacco, who tweeted that remark about AIDS before getting on a plane to South Africa. When I first heard about her tweet, I was angry too. I thought it was awful. And then I heard about the terrifying mob reaction that was so much worse.

    I recently read an interview with her where she explained she'd meant her comment to be sarcastic. How scary is that? To lose your job and have tons of people threatening to rape you and kill you because of an off-colour joke?

    Pretty scary world we live in.

    1. I saw that story! It was horrifying on both ends. I thought it was just an awkward attempt to make a joke about white privilege that spiraled in an absolutely insane way.