Sympathy is a trait that should surge from us like a gushing
fountain. Like a mother’s love for her child, it should be
spontaneous and impulsive. Seeing a person in distress should
perturb and agitate us. Even if we are helpless to do anything
practical to redress the situation, concern should pour out
from us and anxiety should stir us up. We too should writhe in
agony – as if we ourselves were going through it. If such a
situation does not affect us in any way, then surely there is
something terribly wrong. We should then make a positive
effort to awaken this dormant trait.
We can revive and enhance the radiance of this trait in
ourselves by simply opening our eyes to the world around us.
We can learn sympathy from the prophets of God who were
embodiments of this attribute. They were selfless well-wishers
of their people. They wanted to secure their people from the
wrath of God. What greater an expression of sympathy than to
awaken people from their deep slumber and to prepare them for
the kingdom of heaven?
We can learn sympathy from a mother; how she continues to wait
on her children and serve their needs even when this means
sacrificing her own needs, forsaking her own comfort and
giving up her own priorities.
We can learn sympathy from individuals who, risking their own
lives, attend to the sick and wounded both in times of peace
And if all this is not enough to inculcate or enhance this
trait in us we may think of a selfish motive: being
sympathetic and kind to others makes us forget our own
worries. It gives us peace of mind which is so elusive a thing
And, of course, instances at which we need to show sympathy
Attending persistently to sick relatives and friends; treating
pets and beasts of burden with utmost humaneness; doing
whatever can be done for those afflicted with some calamity
and praying to God if nothing else can be done; using our
influence to help those in distress; not forsaking sinners for
they need sympathy the most; treating those subservient to us
especially servants with extreme kindness and affection;
merely lending an ear to a person going through some agony;
supporting the oppressed against the wicked; lending a hand to
the old, the disabled and the handicapped; ignoring the
weaknesses of others; welcoming guests wholeheartedly; tending
vigilantly to plants … of course there is no end to this list.
May God grant us the courage and will to overcome any
shortcoming that we may have in being sympathetic.