“Courage and compassion are two sides of the same coin. Compassion without courage is not genuine. You may have a compassionate thought or impulse, but if you don’t do or say anything, it’s not real compassion.
— President Daisaku Ikeda
I agree with Ikeda. Compassion is meaningless if it isn’t acted on.
It isn’t enough to say we have compassion for the hungry and then do nothing. Our words have to be followed by action.
The basis of my first book, Getting Off Our Buts: Making Mission Happen is the only miracle account included in all 4 Gospels, the feeding of the 5,000. One of the most powerful verses in that passage tells that when Jesus saw the waiting crowds he was “moved with compassion, because they were like sheep without a shepherd, so He began to teach them many things.”
Jesus was so filled with compassion that He immediately acted on those feelings. That’s true compassion. Like Ikeda says, to be genuine, compassion requires action.
Ikeda writes that courage and compassion are two sides of the same coin. That’s a connection I had never made . Ending the suffering of our human family dying daily from the ravages of hunger requires compassion. According to Ikeda it also requires courage.
Do we have the courage to act on our compassion for the hungry? Do we have the courage required to end hunger in our lifetime?