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Showing Compassion To One Another

As part of the Voice Of A Fairsian Programme, Beatrice Soon from Secondary 4B encouraged us to be compassionate and reach out to students who need a listening ear in school. "Having to quickly adapt to the new changes wasn't easy and I know that secondary school life can be difficult and stressful," Beatrice said. Through her speech, Beatrice seeks to motivate her fellow schoolmates to be courageous in caring for one another in the Fairfield community. (This speech was delivered in March 2020 during morning assembly.)

Beatrice’s Speech

Good morning Ms Chen, Vice-Principals, Teachers and fellow Fairsians! I am Beatrice Soon from Secondary 4B and a member of the Student Council. Today, I would like to share with everyone about the importance of showing compassion. Compassion is an emotional response to another person's pain and suffering. It evokes an authentic desire from within to help another person. In short, compassion is about the tendency to think about the needs of others and, more importantly, to take action to improve their lives. Imagine a world without compassionate people such as Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and other countless individuals who risked their own lives to save others, and we will realise the importance of demonstrating compassion towards those who really need it.

Allow me to help you understand the importance of compassion. In your free time, I would like to encourage everyone to close your eyes and think about two people who have shown you compassion. They may show care and concern for you by checking if you are okay. They may be people who have always been by your side to help you in your difficult times. Think about how these people and their acts of compassion have impacted you.

So, does compassion really matter? Firstly, compassion strengthens the community. By showing compassion towards our fellow Fairsians, we show support and loving kindness to those around us. Being part of a community grants us a sense of togetherness which helps to establish a healthy atmosphere filled with trust, harmony and friendship. Hence, having the compassion to recognise others’ needs and help them will allow them to feel safe and secure within the community.

Secondly, showing compassion towards others can also build a positive mindset, not just for the receiver but for the giver. It improves the giver's well-being and triggers positive emotions that can alleviate stress and negative emotions.

Would you believe me if I said that 40 seconds of showing compassion towards others could save a life?

From the 15 minutes Ted talk video that I watched at home, what stood out to me the most was when the speaker shared about how 40 seconds of compassion saved a life during a consultation session between an oncologist and a cancer patient. At the beginning of the consultation, the oncologist said to the patient, “I know this is a tough experience to go through and I want you to know that I am here with you. Some of the things that I say to you today may be difficult to understand, but I want you to feel comfortable in stopping me if something I say is confusing or doesn't make sense. We are here together and we will go through this together.”

At the end of the consultation, the oncologist said to the patient, “I know this is a tough time for you. I want to emphasise again that we are in this together and I will be with you on this journey.” Throughout this consultation, the oncologist’s compassion enabled the patient to feel at ease, thereby giving the patient the support and care needed. This saved the patient’s life. It takes only 40 seconds of compassion to make a meaningful difference.

Compassion is not just about demonstrating deep sympathy for another person. It is also about taking action. Actions speak louder than words. Therefore, look around you. If you see anybody around you who is in need of compassion, give them your 40 seconds.

When you feel stressed about the amount of homework and examinations, or when you feel that a friend needs compassion, the best solution is to reach out, connect and talk to others or your friends. This is because compassion is developed through listening and understanding others.

 With that, I would like to encourage everyone to show compassion towards your fellow peers.

Thank you for your kind attention.