Letter to the editor: Treat others with compassion this holiday season | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Treat others with compassion this holiday season

Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman


I saw a profound cartoon Monday morning. It pictured a man watching his TV. The question emanating from the screen asked, “What can we do to control the fear?” The next frame shows the man clicking off the TV. “Well done,” I thought.

Sometimes, the best we can do is to just turn it off. I did that this morning when a reporter asked a restaurant owner how it felt to lose her business. Grumpily, I mumbled as I turned the radio off, “Just how stupid can you be? How the devil do you think she felt? Did you expect glee and jubilation from a person who has lost her life’s work and her source of income and security? Where is your common sense? Where is your empathy? How does it feel to you to be sticking your fingers in someone else’s wounds?”

It is galling to realize just how insensitive people can be. We need to realize, as we await our own vaccinations, that when this pandemic has been tamed, there will be many people left scarred from this terrible plague. There will be some euphoria from being freed from having to isolate from one another. However, there will be some period of readjusting to a very changed world. We shall need to try to be sensitive to the fact that not everyone will feel joy. Too many will need to repair deep damage.

This message is particularly apt for these holidays. While they bring to the majority light, hope and joy, this year their opposites may afflict others: loneliness, hunger, emptiness and sadness. We can each reach out, making the attempt to share our sympathies and treat the stranger among us with a bit more compassion. Who knows what solace and comfort it might bring?



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