Hands On – Bah Humbug
Detours in Life
“When we feel compassion, we feel the sufferings of others and feel motivated to help relieve them. But compassionate prayer also calls for compassionate action.” (Br David Vryhof, Society of St John the Evangelist)
Four years ago Dr. Temple Grandin wrote an op-ed piece for the Huffington Post about the values of hands-on learning. I have quoted Dr. Grandin before and if you follow this blog, her story if familiar to you. Considered an unusual child, Temple Grandin has achieved stature as a well-respected veterinarian but also for her innovations and accomplishments regarding livestock handling and transport as well as being a professor at Colorado State University.
Besides all of the above, Temple Grandin was one of the first and remains one of the most visible to announce being autistic. Rather than use her diagnosis as a reason to withdraw, she embraced it and lives with it, having a full life and successful career.
I completely agree with Dr. Grandin’s assessment of hands-on learning. Please do not interpret the title of this post as my disagreeing with her or the concept of hands-on learning. In this post today, however, I am referring to hands-on living and the resulting compassion that follows such.
Many of us have had the opportunity to pass a car wash or see a telethon trying to raise for funds for a family in crisis or a particular health condition. Of course you cannot be expected to give away all your paycheck to such causes but many of us never even consider donating. We are simply too busy living to stop and be compassionate. In 2016 there were 324,129,511 people living in the USA. If each person donated one dollar to the top five causes they supported, each cause were get over three hundred and twenty-four million dollars. In total 1,620,647,555 or over 1.5 billion dollars would have been donated. That amount of money could go quite far in finding cures or feeding the starving. Ten dollars could buy a mosquito net for an African family and save lives… if we were stop saying “Bah Humbug!”
Too many of us have forgotten in our busy hands-on living to be compassionate and really live our faith. It is time to take a second and think of others. You can make a difference if you will just do it hands-on.