As you sit with me in concentration revealing true emotion, I look into your eyes and recognise myself reflected back. I could be you.
This is not pity nor sympathy.
I am no stronger, no more prepared from conception to have found myself able to reorganise life to better circumstance. Humbled by the reflection and counted as equal in this place of suffering I call on all my resources of resiliency – I demand to see hope. I become obedient to the same consequence as you with insurmountable odds and yet I am not overcome by it.
This is not empathy.
I shout out, “Death, you are not good enough for us! We demand life!” I keep shouting until your voice joins with mine, your hand holds onto mine and together we climb to peaceful pastures. I have been in the land of the living and I know the way there.
This is compassion.