Passion and compassion…it starts with me

I’ve been thinking a lot about having passion for a cause or an idea. It’s not always easy to have a clear understanding of where our ideas and philosophies lie, hence being able to form clear and rational notions of what we stand for and support. I guess this is a wide and ranging topic that we all from time to time think about but leave in the too hard basket. I know I do sometimes.

Lately however, I have tried to stay with the identification of personal ideals and understand what they mean for me, my family, friends and people in the wider community. As an older Australian with most of my work life behind me rather than ahead, I am very thankful for the opportunities that I had to get educated (as a mature aged student) and to be employed in the field that I was trained in.  My journey, whilst I worked hard and hopefully usefully was a matter of perseverance, development and good employment opportunities rather than funding and job cuts as so often seen in today’s climate. The threats that face certain sectors and the ambivalence around long-term employment were not factors that I had to deal with. I was lucky (perhaps one of the last of the ‘lucky country’ participants…) compared with many workers currently faced with lack of job security and possible family instability as a result.

And so, I worry a lot for our children and their families, especially if they work in sectors of job change (are there any sectors not effected?) or funding cuts. I worry for older people who have not been able to provide adequately for themselves in later life and I worry for individuals with disability or illness that has impacted their ability to work and accumulate financial independence for housing and basic day-to-day living needs.

As a society we have a strange way of appreciating that everyone is equal and that opportunities to health, education and housing should be fair and reasonable. Sometimes we do our best to enable that our own family members are doing okay but beyond that the task becomes too hard…or so it seems.

So, this is where my passion comes in. I get upset when I hear of good people doing it hard. I get upset when I hear of people with addictions and mental health issues not having the services and supports any decent society would and should supply. I get very upset when I hear stories about pensioners who can’t afford to pay for adequate heating and necessities. And, I get very angry when I see some sectors of our society ignoring the plight of others around them.

So, why do we look after ourselves and then not give concern to others who may be struggling. Why do we turn a blind eye or even worse, why do we condemn or blame those less fortunate than ourselves. Of course if we where to be sympathetic and develop a sense of understanding then I guess we would have to do something. And, it’s the doing something that most of us shy away from.

Even politically, we assess the newly announced policies by our Federal Government with an eye to how these changes might affect us or change the way we live. Once convinced that perhaps it could be worse or that we can live with it we go about our daily lives and dismiss the problem. But what about the people who’s lives are greatly challenged by government changes? What happens to them as we put our own heads further into the sandpit?

Well it seems to me that as a society we demonstrate a lack passion for general humanitarian causes and compassion for the less fortunate for what ever reason. What does it take for some folk to realise that humanity is about all people?  Is humanity also in the too hard basket? Does it take the occurrence of hardship on ourselves or a family member to somehow awaken in us a sense of compassion and understanding? I hope not…

About Heathermargaret

Counsellor, writer, mother of adult sons and wife. The order of above changes regularly depending on lifes' pressing issues.
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