A Shot of Compassion

Exam time is tough. No week of school is tougher than the final week, when everything is due; papers, projects, and those final tests and quizzes that have to be studied for. We are all tired and stressed.

Sometimes it gets to us.

No matter how strong we are, how much support we have, there are days when the stuff to do and the deadlines are just too much, combined with all the other pressures that life brings through work and family and friends.

Most of us cope, or have ways to cope. Sometimes we can’t. We need help. Friends and family can be far away.

The other day, after a class, I saw a fellow student in clear distress, trying so hard to keep it all in, to not crack. I waited, hoping this person would be able to pull it together.


I was struggling with my bag (too many books to close it again!) and I watched for a minute while people noted the distress and walked past.

Not their problem.

I could not walk away. Instead, I went over and inquired if I could help. We ended up talking for an hour about all the pain and pressure that school can bring and we parted both feeling better, and I hope, more able to cope.

The thing is, it was not my words that helped, it was the human compassion. I was raised to treat others as I would like to be treated. I think most of us were.

I know we are all busy and this stuff can feel awkward, but next time you see a person struggling, don’t walk by.

Stop. Say “Hi, are you ok?” I bet you can commiserate. You don’t have to solve the problem. Just be another human being.

Take a second and put on the other person’s shoes. You might find you have more in common than you thought.

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