On Compassion

Length: 2 Pages 558 Words

In Barbara L. Ascher’s essay “On Compassion”, she addresses the need for compassion. Ascher used examples of the homeless to illustrate how compassion is necessary in society. It was recognized that Ascher believes the homeless people we see today is what brings about our compassion that we have for humans. The Greek dramas of the past that Ascher refers to reinforced compassion through their plays. Unlike a theatrical play homelessness is real life; this is a reality (163-5). As I read Ascher’s essay, I found the subject of compassion to be quite intriguing. Ascher insists that for one to be compassionate, compassion must be learned. I agree with her claim. When I see someone less fortunate than I, someone without regular meals, clean clothing, someone clearly unable to pay for a haircut, compassion comes about in m Continue...

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Regardless the circumstance, something seems to sympathize with my heart and give me a reason to care. That "something that I mentioned would be referred to as compassion. The poor man stared at us with a smile and stopped directly in our path to bring us to a halt. I don't know if she actually was sorry for that man, of if she feared him, or if she even believed his story. Chicago being a bigger city, there was an abundance of homeless people. I felt my mom grip my hand a little tighter and we proceeded to walk on ahead. He began to show my mom torn old receipts that he claimed to be from his daughters' asthma medication. Maybe that homeless man is what sparked the compassion in me. Homelessness is a definite reality, even to someone so naive as I. The man, eternally gracious thanked her several times and gave us his blessing, allowing us to be on our way. My mom, impatient to find a restaurant, shook her head as if she believed his story and gave him some money. As for me I believed the man, and I honestly felt sorry for him. My mom and I, eager to find a nice place to dine before the show, wearily set down the long sidewalks of the city.


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