Compassion, correlation and cooperation

Extracts from the FORWARD of the author’s New book “Sahiyaru Jeevan”, (Life in Partnership)]

Today there is great need of three Cs: namely Compassion, Correlation and Cooperation. Thanks to the facilities of mass media, and of travelling a person can reach any corner of the world. We can get in touch with persons anywhere in the world through social communications.

We speak about universal brotherhood ( ”Vasudaivekudumbakam”). But the open secret is that we have not found a way to the hearts of our neighbors! For, we are not compassionate. When we are not compassionate then there is no question of correlation or mutual relationship and cooperation. Where there is compassion there is interpersonal relationship; there is cooperation.

Today our human existence is threatened due to our misuse of our environment. In this situation we cannot live long. So to change the present situation and to live longer on the face of the earth we need to be compassionate with the whole environment, with all animate and inanimate beings. We also need to acknowledge our mutual dependence. We can make meaningful progress in life only through cooperation with all beings.

Let me substantiate this statement with a concrete historical example. This is a story of an English man Mark Guy Pearse, who has authored more than 50 books. Mark was born in a poor family. When he was a teenager, he was returning home by sea-route from his studies in Holland. In the restaurant of the ship Mark chose all his favorite food items and enjoyed them. But when the waiter brought the bill, Mark was shocked. He realized that he did not have full amount to pay the bill!

The waiter scolded Mark severely. Then he asked Mark’s name. Mark gave his full name as Mark Guy Pearse. Hearing the name the waiter quietly paid the full bill from his pocket and told Mark that he can go free. Mark asked the waiter why he paid on his behalf! The waiter said that he knew Mark’s dad Guy Pearce and that he had help the waiter on a critical situation. Then, the waiter added, “Son, you too may return this favor by helping someone in their dire need”.

When we examine our lives, we find innumerable people who have rendered selfless services to us to make us what we are today. Beginning with our parents numerous people in one way or other have helped us to grow. When a child is born, it is the most helpless creature among new born animal world. After the birth a calf in a short time stands up and goes to drink its mother’s milk and moves about with its mother.

But a human child need to be lifted and helped to drink its mother’s milk for more than one year. A child grows up and till it begins to earn and becomes self sufficient many years have to pass. During this whole period, if one begins to count, it is almost impossible to count the number of people who have contributed to his physical, mental, social and psychological well being. Beginning with his parents, siblings and other relatives a lot of people have taught him the intricacies of life in his family, society and the country. Many men and women have taught him in one way or other to be self sufficient in education in social upbringing and professional life.

A person needs to depend on many people not only in his professional life but also in his personal family and social living. Even after a person’s death he needs others for his body to be taken to cemetery or to crematorium and dispose of the body and to fulfill religious rites and social obligations and traditional customs. In other words a person needs from his birth to death innumerable men, women and other beings. Their compassion, correlation and cooperation make his life worth living. These three things of compassion, correlation and cooperation enrich a person’s life and make it happy. So, needless to say that we all need to cultivate compassion, correlation and cooperation as part and parcel of our lives.
Last Change: 1-1-2017
Next Change: 16-1-2017
Copyright© Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ. 2017