Some people will try to discourage you to do the right thing and to act compassionate.
Be a superhero.
Actually, many people will not understand you.
Even worse, people will lose respect toward you if you do not pay attention.
Compassion is not something that is admired in some cultures; it is admired in others.
Compassion might be looked upon as diminishing and weakening by some people, and a virtue by others.
But guess what?
You are compassionate because it makes you feel good.
You are compassionate because the birds will thank you.
The poor will thank you.
The old granny will thank you.
Allah will thank you.
The thing with compassion is that it often makes you look bad in the eyes of the public, but not in the eyes of the one who gets the benefit from it.
Each year, my kids and I used to go to a group that provided games and a lunch for the kids in town.
People liked to join because it provided socialization and exercise, away from computers and cell phones, two things kids need desperately.
My kids and I cleaned up the parks after the activity was over.
It happened that a group of teenagers unwrapped their food and threw the wraps at our feet to show us how much they thought about our cleaning.
Many people think you are wortheless if you do not always show yourself in a position of superiority and strength.
But guess what?
These days, the birds thanked us.
The grass thanked us.
The teens' groundwater thanked us.
To be truly compassionate you need to be convinced in your heart that you're doing something worthwhile when no one values what you are doing.
Allah sees your efforts and, remember, you are judged by your intentions.
I was really mad when a town in the US forbade people to help the homeless.
How dare they?
So, here are the 5 new things you can do around you:
1) Be kind to the homeless.
Smile to them. Give them food. Talk to them for a minute. Buy them a coffee. Give them a coin. Many are normal people who had a bad turn in life. It could happen to anyone. Make an emergency pack and store it in your car and give it to a homeless.
2) Remove a rock from the road.
In Islam, we are urged to remove something from the road that could hurt someone or create an accident. Trash cans blown away in the street can be a real danger. A tree branch on a skateboard ramp can hurt a kid. Look around and remove that obstacle from the road.
3) Speak up.
This one is harder, but can be done.
A good word to someone can make their day.
Defending someone can help them feel better.
In Islam, we are told to change the world around us.
If we do something physically, great. It's the best way. But if we can only say a word, just a word, then say it. It's still good stuff.
Smiling and saying hello in Islam is very important.
Nothing is more depressing than meeting someone who does not smile. Tell a joke if you can. Make someone smile is even better.
5) Do not criticize.
Maybe the hardest thing to do is to hold one's tongue. There is a saying that warns, "If you have nothing nice to say, do not say anything at all." Live by that saying.
You can control what comes out of your mouth.
Try not to box people in.
Try to uderstand their motivations.
Do not be discouraged by anyone.
Do things because it matters to you.
Be your own superhero.
No one needs to know.
You need to know it.