Where Did Compassion Go?

It is not everyday where I read an article and I immediately feel compelled to share it with the world, and more often than not, when I do, it is usually something bad.  But today, I came across such a beautiful display of compassion that made me stop and remember what kindness is.  I want to share my appreciation for the words posted by Broadway actor Kelvin Moon Loh immediately following a matinee show that was interrupted during an intense scene where a child temporarily lost his composure.  You can read what he wrote in full here.

Loh was not angry at the child for interrupting his performance, nor was he angered at the parent who choose to bring her special needs child to the theater.  Loh stated in his post, “When did we as theater people, performers and audience members become so concerned with our own experience that we lose compassion for others?” He goes on to mention the fact that theater was meant for everyone, noting that his show was in fact a family friendly one.

I feel like his words fell short.  Don’t get me wrong.  His words were profound and meaningful, but they need to be more inclusive.  It is not just the theater that is meant for all, but most other establishments in this world are too.  No parent should feel forced to stay home and keep their child hidden from the world because of the indifference and cruelty of others.

I am not saying this world is a free for all where children should run wild in restaurants, shout in movie theaters and wreak havoc in stores.  No parent should just let their kids run around and ruin other people’s experiences, but when a parent is trying, especially when the child’s actions are completely understandable, it was a rough scene to watch, we need to step back and realize that the world does not revolve around us.

So when you see a parent struggling in the store, at the park, or wherever you just happen to share a space with them, do what ever you can do to help, be that an understanding smile, letting them go ahead of you in line, or just minding your own business.  We have all had hard days and most of us handle them the best we can, and sneers, nasty comments and dirty looks do nothing but add negativity into the world.  It is ironic that the fully grown adults expect random parents to make their kids behave at all times, when their own parents allowed them to reach adulthood still not knowing how to behave decently in public.

What do you think? Do you think the world needs more compassion or should there be more separate spaces for adults only?  Do you agree with Loh?  Has a child ruined your experience, or maybe it was just a rude adult that made a small struggle with your child worse? Let me know in the comments.


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