Compassion can be defined as a sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. Or, in simpler terms, compassion is kindness that is moved to action.
That kind of character is what I see when I think of Pam Cope, a woman who is changing the world every day because of her small acts of compassion. Struck by the poverty she and her husband witnessed while visiting an orphanage in Vietnam, she knew she wanted to change the lives of the children who had to beg on the streets for survival.
They started by renting a small apartment in Saigon to house 15 street children, providing them with food, clothing, education, and family. A few months later, they rented another house and brought 15 more children to safety.
In 2006, Pam’s compassion moved her once again. She saw a little boy named Mark on the front page of The New York Times and knew she had to do something. His story tugged her heart so much that she coordinated a trip to Africa so that she could rescue him from slavery.
Pam’s actions went way beyond kindness and sympathy, and her compassion has saved thousands of children’s lives through Touch A Life Foundation—an organization she founded to advocate for trafficked and vulnerable children and provide long-term care for kids in Ghana, Vietnam and Cambodia.
It’s important for us all to remember that while Pam is doing powerful things to create positive change, she is just a woman who saw dire need and decided to act. Just like her, we can be women of compassion when we see injustice, tragedy or heartbreak.
Here are some ways we can live out compassion in our daily lives:
-Serve food at a homeless shelter.
-Volunteer at a charity or organization you believe in.
-Sponsor a child through World Vision or Compassion International.
-Spend time with older people in nursing homes.
-Send care packages to the troops.
-Use our past difficulties to encourage someone in a tough time (for example, a friend who is dealing with the death of a loved one).
-When we see injustice, ask ourselves what we can do to make it right—we might end up changing the world like Pam!
For more information about Touch A Life Foundation, please visit TouchALifeKids.org.
Photo Credit: http://modernhepburn.tumblr.com/post/13700728496