June 6, 2023

“I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.”
Quite clearly, the ideals of this quote by Jana Stanfield is what is personified by people showing empathy and compassion towards others. These benevolent people, thinking larger than themselves, realize the significance of their efforts and the impact of their cause.
It is inspiring to note that not only wealthy members of the society are extending help to our less fortunate brethren. Many not so well-off men and women are also able to warm others’ hearts by what they are able to do with the little that they have. Some of them might be arguably worse off in some ways than we are but still they do something to help make someone else’s life just a little bit better.
One doesn’t have to be affluent to be able to help those who are in need. Whoever we are, we all have our own measure of privilege. Many tend to have skewed or biased perspective of the concept. Privilege does not mean that an individual is immune to life’s hardships, but it does mean having an unearned benefit or advantage one receives in society by nature of their identity.
Basically, there are a lot of different dimensions by which privilege can be measured. Examples of types of identity that can afford an individual privilege include socio-economic status, language, certain traits, and resources and/or ability. It’s possible to be in the non-privileged category of a particular dimension, but that doesn’t mean you lack privilege. For example, if you are on crutches but have functional hearing, you have privilege when it comes to ability to hear over someone who is deaf. Conversely, someone who is deaf but able-bodied in other ways has privilege by merit of his or her ability to ambulate unassisted.
See? Now, when was the last time you acknowledged what you have and said “thank you” for having them? If you’re like most people, you probably feel a twinge of guilt. You might even feel defensive, thinking to yourself, “I don’t have that much privilege.” We sometimes tend to understate our privilege and the role it plays in enabling us to do social impact work. But come to think of it; how you respond to that privilege is what matters. In past disasters that brought great fear and sorrow, we have heard how remarkable the heroic responses made by regular citizens. By volunteering their time and skills, they were able to alleviate the sufferings of others and saved lives.
When fate lends us privileges, let us help the needy. We all have moral obligations towards each other. Let us raise awareness to fulfill our duties as human beings by helping and encouraging to do good. Let us continue to show compassion to the less fortunate. Just because other people’s issues are such great extremes compared to our minor difficulties, does not mean we cannot relate. Just imagine the terror and consternation of their hopes and expectations to ameliorate their lives, hanging onto our mercy. We all can be nurturers by being sensitive to the world and by thinking larger than ourselves. — Dionne M. Colalong