Try Compassion

Last week, two very terrible things happened.

On Friday, one man was responsible for a bombing and gunning down an island of kids, both in Norway.

On Saturday, Amy Winehouse was found dead in her home.

Relax enraged people, there is a point that connects both of these events.

Obviously, one man gunning down an island full of kids and setting up a bomb to blow up in Oslo, Norway is the bigger and more horrendous of the two events. One journalist called it Norway’s 9/11. People interviewed couldn’t believe something like that could happen there. The shock of it, the destruction, seemingly out of nowhere… is staggering.

When Anders Behring Breivik was brought to trial, he pleaded not guilty. His reason, he was fighting against the waves of Muslims that were immigrating into Norway and other European countries. He wanted an open trial so he could explain his reasons for killing over 60 people and who knows how many more.

His reason, to us, is simple enough.


The thing is, he isn’t alone. There are others throughout Europe who, to some degree, agree with Breivik’s thoughts. Will a bunch of them go and gun down a bunch of Muslims? No. Will some of them treat these newly arrived people differently? Yes.

It’s the same here. People come here from somewhere else, form communities within a city so they can feel more comfortable in a new country. Yet, they are still looked down upon and talked about behind their backs. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone make a very generalized comment about an ethnic group just because of a few troublemakers, or just from things they’ve heard from someone else.

I often wonder how these morons would feel if they moved to a country where no one spoke their language and they were ridiculed regularly. Maybe then, the morons would understand the incredible difficulty some of these people face when coming here. Maybe then, they would have more compassion.

Cause that’s all it really takes. A little more compassion and a little less closed-minded thinking, knee-jerk comments, and dumb-ass digs. If we all had a little more compassion, took a little more time to listen and understand, maybe then, people like Breivik might understand that it’s not about us or them, but about everyone. In the end, we are all trying to find a place to live our lives and be happy and give our kids a better chance than we had.

Which brings me to Amy Winehouse.

First thing you should know, I’m not a fan of hers. She has an incredible voice, I liked a few of her songs, but I never bought any of her CDs, and I don’t have any of her music.

Having said that, when I heard that she had died, I felt bad. She was only twenty-seven. She had great potential. A future was there if she wanted it. But like many famous musicians, she had demons to battle. Whether they killed her or not, it was sad.

Then, I read a few of my friend’s comments on Facebook. None of them were too flattering. I was pissed. It made me think of Robert Downey Jr.

Not that long ago, he was a mess. He was the butt of people’s jokes for his drug use and general madness. Yet, he battled through it, and is now even more popular than he was.

Now, what if he had died before he was able to recover. People would have made all the same jokes about him that they are making about Amy Winehouse.

Now, what if Amy Winehouse hadn’t died? What if she, like Robert Downey Jr., had battled through her demons and came out the other side stronger. What if she rose through the music ranks to become even bigger than she was before?

That would be a pretty cool ending. Better than she got.

But, it’s easier to mock the dead and the hardships they had to battle that may (or may not) have led to her death. Maybe if people had a little more compassion about what she dealt with. Maybe if people saw past what the media showed, and saw a woman struggling in a notoriously fickle business.

Maybe if people had a little more compassion, then there wouldn’t be so much venom and indifference out there. Then people struggling might feel like there’s hope.

But it’s easier to mock and belittle someone than it is to feel compassion. It seems cooler to act superior and indifferent than it is to try to understand someone, or their point of view.

If we all tried a little compassion, maybe tragic things wouldn’t happen as often, or at all.


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