Tuesday, May 21, 2013

There is no compassion fatigue

A few years ago, I was part of a panel at a blogger conference. The topic we spoke about: compassion fatigue. Theory being, people these days are so bombarded by causes and tragedy via social media that they tune out. I didn't completely agree that this was a widespread phenomenon; with the outpouring of caring and support after disasters, natural or not, just the opposite is proving to be true.

I've thought a lot about that talk this past year with every passing horror: Hurricane Sandy, Newtown, the Boston bombings, the Bangladesh garment factory collapse, the Texas tornadoes. And now, the devastating Oklahoma tornado, with 24 confirmed dead, including 9 children, and hundreds injured.

I've wept nonstop as I've watched the news. I've made donations. And I'm sure you have felt and done the same. While it may be hard for the mind to comprehend just what the families of victims' go through, the human heart has no such boundaries. It's expansive enough to take in grief again and again, and big enough to make us want to do what we can to help our fellow human beings. We have an infinite capacity for prayers and wishes. No matter what our own circumstances or personal struggles, we feel compassion again and again. There is no fatigue there.

The major disaster relief organizations including the American Red Cross, Salvation ArmyUnited Way and Save the Children are soliciting donations; other non-profits to consider:

Feeding America will be sending truckloads of food, water and supplies to Oklahoma.

Operation USA is gathering emergency and shelter supplies to help community-based health organizations in Oklahoma recover.

Habitat for Humanity will assist with cleanup, repairs and any necessary new construction.

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief has sent out dozens of volunteers to set up mobile kitchens and feeding units.

If you live in the affected area, I hope you and your family are safe. If you have family there, I hope they are OK. And if you know of a family who needs help, let us know what we can do.

Image: Wikimedia/US National Weather Service


  1. Compassion fatigued I've never heard of anything so ridiculous :)

  2. I'm definitely getting tired of hearing about tragedy after tragedy, but it's from compassion rather than apathy - "What's wrong with this world?" kind of thing. The level of horror and sorrow doesn't change. I do think there needs to be a media overhaul of how this stuff is covered - the sensationalism needs to be toned down - but that's a whole different issue. What's in people's hearts is another thing.

    1. Well said, Rachael. I've also had those "What's wrong with this world?" feelings lately and, more specifically, what is wrong with our environment.

  3. All I hear about are school shootings and natural disasters today. :(


Thanks for sharing!

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