The Value of Compassion

This is in response to a letter from an awesome horse rescuer friend of mine, who is getting burned out from seeing too much pain and suffering. This discouraged feeling might be recognizable to all of us who fight for justice for the voiceless, so this is a pep talk to myself, and to all who are fighting the evil against the defenseless.

Caring so much that it hurts, is this a burden or a blessing? The act of caring is the innate ability to assess the feelings of another living being, it is essentially allowing their pain to transfer into you. Feeling the pain and suffering of innocent victims is not easy, especially when there is so much of it and so blatantly in clear sight.

How easy is it to be discouraged by the evil of the ones without that ability, how easy to feel the anger of our own powerlessness and how difficult to feel positive seeing and knowing all the pain and suffering that is going on in the world at this very moment. Tragedy wants to harden us but our mission is never to let it.

“Compassion is the basis of all morality.”
-Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher. 1788-1860

Would we be better off not caring so much? Would life be easier if we were just like the millions of people who do not even give it a second thought and merrily go on worrying about themselves every day?

“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”
-Albert  Schweitzer, German Medical Missionary, Theologian, Musician and Philosopher. 1952 Nobel Peace Prize. 1875-1965

No, not being able to feel what others feel is not a blessing, it is the worst curse of all. For people like this are not able to understand or put themselves in anybodies place. If not their livestock, then not their pets, if not their pets, then not their children, if not their children then not their friends, and if not their friends, then not their spouses. How can they be fair to anyone? Without understanding, relationships do not work. Without caring, life is empty. Plus, does anyone ever truly like a selfish person?

These people do not lead a fulfilled life, and it is only because of their own pain and their lack of happiness that they are cruel and mean. Count your blessings that you are not one of them, for they are truly cursed with the real burden.

“I would rather have eyes that cannot see; ears that cannot hear; lips that cannot speak, than a heart that cannot feel.”
-Robert Tizon, Writer.

No, the secret is not to care less, the secret is to allow yourself a break from it every once in a while. Feelings are only the result of thoughts, so if our thoughts are always on suffering and how to stop it, it is no wonder our feelings of happiness are far and few in between. It is very important to take time to banish all depressing thoughts. We all play an important part in the course of history, for history is only made by those who care about the future. We cannot afford to wear ourselves thin.

“A true virtue wasted, is compassion that ends in tears and sighs.”
-Simone Netherlands, Respect 4 Horses.

The awesome part is that we are all here, we are part of a common consciousness that is painfully aware that the innocent and kind creatures deserve better. We need to sustain ourselves and carry on for their sake. Look at the positive and forget the negative for a little while. (Do this for at least one hour a day, and one day a week, doctor’s orders)

“We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.”
-Sonia Johnson, Writer.

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement, and impossibilities: It is this, beyond all else which distinguishes the victorious from the defeated.”
-Simone Netherlands, Respect 4 Horses.

To be successful, we must be able to cope with our burden and play the war one battle at a time. We cannot be a bunch of righteous individuals, but must be an unselfish team who can visualize the concept. We must combine our efforts. It is amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who receives the credit. Let’s support each other and keep faith in our hearts that justice will prevail. With that being our attitude, there is no limit to what we can do.

“The longing for justice is the sword we carry.”
-Sonia Johnson, Writer.

With this I would like to express my sincere gratitude for people like you, and all the rest of the many horse rescuers, anti horse slaughter advocates, wild horse advocates, animal rights activists, lobbyers, letter writers, documentary makers, activists, supporters and donators, who are reading this. No matter how big or small the part is that you are playing, know that your contribution is of more importance than you know. The world would be a worse place without you.

“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
- Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher. 1788-1860

“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
-Albert Schweitzer. 1875-1965. Nobel peace prize 1952.

The value of compassion is immeasurable and cannot be over emphasized. The burden is a blessing in disguise. When you leave the world behind you and it is better for having had you in it, you become immortal with the difference that you have made. Wild horse Annie always said: The purpose of life is to make a difference, no matter how great or small.

“There is no greater wisdom than knowing the difference between right and wrong, no greater purpose than doing what is right, and no greater satisfaction than knowing you made a difference.”
-Simone Netherlands, Respect 4 horses.