Seldom do we forget that. Don’t we? First, compassion isn’t hard to define. It’s actually much easier to describe than “happiness.” Happiness can very well be subjective but compassion? It is nothing but a feeling of being sad in another person’s sadness, suffering and struggles; and having a desire to help. This year can very well be humanity’s test on compassion. Now, look back at 2020, we are nearing the end of the year and think of much evidence this world has given us about the ubiquitous compassion present amongst us all.

Take social distancing or wearing masks for example. One might not think much of these simple precautions but if you really think about it, it is heartwarming to see people care not just about them but also about countless many that are going through this tough time. No questions asked. People just believe in doing the right thing. Take the example of our seniors who are at risk most right now. Taking these precautions is nothing but an act of compassion to them. People around the world came together in various instances and helped those who were affected. Something I found incredibly heart-warming was how students in NDG, Quebec came together to deliver groceries to seniors who were unable to go out. I actually think about the time when my friend took me out to buy supplements because I wasn’t feeling very well. This simple act was so touching and now, thinking how someone who is even in a worse position than you are, is getting the help that he/she needs leaves you with hope.

The real reason why I’m talking about compassion is not because of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic. I should very well give my thanks to Netflix’s “The Crown” for this motivation. Princess Diana had me thinking about this word today. To those who don’t know, the late Princess played a very important role in breaking stigmas around HIV-AIDS in1989. If anyone born during that time remembers, there was a huge amount of stigma surrounding people infected with it. People with HIV-AIDS were sidelined in society and many even believed that it was dangerous to touch/interact with them.

I must be 12-13 when I saw Princess Diana’s work on TV for this cause where she hugged and held hands of people without gloves. I remember being so profoundly touched because at that age, you don’t really understand the disease but even a child can recognize that compassion was present at that moment. A figure in modern history who broke barriers by simply showing compassion to those who needed it the most and helped them when others were too scared to come close to them. How can this not be a lesson for us all? Our realities might be different, but the message is the same.

Embracing science and facts and realizing that somebody has to step in first to help is what the world needs more from us all. Sometimes, we have to be the first to show compassion. We have carried ourselves so far and we still have some journey left for the tumultuous 2020. There are still doctors, nurses and frontline workers who are putting their lives on the line to protect and care for those infected. Compassion is the gift we can actually give them now. A simple “Thank You” is good, but can you imagine how much our actions would mean? We still have to embrace the fact that normal isn’t close enough and we still have to protect others around us. It doesn’t cost much and most importantly, what should be remembered is that if we are to demand compassion and care from others in times like these, we need to be showing it first. Everybody including you deserves compassion.

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