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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made a profound statement that has always been of particular importance to me.  He said, “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” Doing what is right should be the easiest undertaking of any compassionate human being.

However, in today’s turbulent environment, we are constantly reminded by the actions of others that ‘doing the right thing’ is in danger of a setback. News reports of corruption show how upside down our society is becoming. The blame lies with not one group or political view but rather with each person who has the ability to speak up for the betterment of humanity but chooses to “look the other way.” The mindset of choosing not to confront wrongness when it is observed is a downward spiral leading to intolerance of doing the right thing.

But a society that embraces a compassionate spirit towards humanity is one where concern for the suffering and wellbeing of others exists, a sentiment often expressed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The compassion shown for another who is stricken by misfortune is a positive thing especially when directed to eliminate the pains and suffering of others.

Whenever we show compassion to others, it becomes a deeply rooted expression of caring that a person will value and reciprocate toward others. As human beings, we are created in the image of God and are deserving of dignity and respect. When one person suffers or is treated badly, all of humanity is affected and worse off.

Some of the most vulnerable people within our care who are deserving of dignity and respect are in our hospitals, nursing homes, and senior living facilities. They are also living in our affordable housing communities and other living places that care for the disinherited. As we struggle today with issues of poverty, racism, bigotry, and spiritual disengagement, the message for success of the human race will be through the caring for all of humanity.

Although scorned and hated by those who subscribed to racism in our society, Dr. King advocated a love of self and others that defeats fear and the hatred that decays our souls and the world around us. The positive power of compassion with love is the solution that will prevent our descent into immoral behavior. So Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten

chaplain@lhp.net