Compassion and complacency are two qualities that are opposite each other in meaning. In other words, compassion commands and demands action while complacency requires inaction and nonchalance. October is Domestic Violence Awareness and Breast Cancer Awareness month. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which ribbon wins the battle of the color ribbons.
Pink wins hands down and it has thrown purple "under the bus" for the last 25 years or more, so to speak. Compassion is an egalitarian quality. It is not prejudicial nor should it decide which causes to support. While BCAM is very important, and it should be supported, breast cancer awareness should not be overblown to the exclusion of DVAM.
Perhaps domestic violence is one of those causes that the composite American public will continue to "sweep its dirt" under the rug. Sexual assault and child abuse does not fair much better when April comes around when it is their turn to take the color ribbon stage, teal green versus royal blue. The people in Utah cannot be blamed for apathy, complacency, and nonchalance.
This is not a regional attitude. It doesn't matter if one lives in Alabama, Maryland, Oklahoma, or Iowa. Those people will display the same complacent attitude when it come to what I term, nurture causes, as do the people of Utah. (Domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, animal cruelty, drinking and driving, and homelessness)
The nature causes elicit compassion from people as giving and donating becomes a passion for the masses. It is much easier to get a group of people to show compassion to agencies that sponsors Relay for Life, March of Dimes, Breast Cancer Three Day Walks, or any BCAM or cancer activities, diabetes, and Alzheimer's. The compassion that is shown toward those causes is admirable. But what happens when it comes to helping agencies that put on the nurture causes and their awareness? How many readers participated in the 5-K Walk against Child Abuse yesterday at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City? At the time of writing this editorial, only about 45-50 people had committed to attending the Men of Weber's Purple Ribbon (Compassion) Dinner.
The complacency toward our event was so apathetic that we had to modify the event by cancelling Mildred Muhammad. The banquet took place as we still had Saundra Adams as speaker by moving her to the keynote slot. Ms. Adams' daughter, Cherica, was killed in a murder-for-hire scheme by then-Carolina Panther, Rae Carruth.
The club felt that we gave the community pretty good exposure as we targeted a specific group of merchants and college students. How compassionate are we for the plight of the homeless? The Sept. 26 Standard-Examiner included an article, "Winter vs. the homeless," that featured the financial neediness of homeless shelters. Foundations that have supported them in the past are now refocusing their efforts on internal business mechanisms.
Suppose Ogden's working population is 60,000 employees. Then suppose those 60,000 people had true compassion for the plight of the three homeless shelters in Ogden. Each employee could donate $1 each month to all three agencies.
The burdens of the few could easily be lifted by the masses. In other words, $60,000 per month in revenue for St. Anne's, Salvation Army, and the Ogden Rescue Mission would ease the burdens of those agencies. That would be $720,000 per year in revenue for each agency if 60,000 people donate a measly $3 per month. Contrastingly, the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and other such cancer agencies are not suffering as much for funds as are the nurture-related nonprofits.
Have the scientific community found a cure for cancer yet? Will they ever find a cure regardless of how much money the public throw at their heels? Their scientists make great salaries while nonprofit agencies that look after the immediate needs of the common people suffer tremendously. What can we learn from Jesus' compassionate attitude? A leper simply told him, "Lord if you want to, you can make me clean. Jesus replied, "I want to!"
Employees, if you want to, you can readily assist nonprofit agencies with their financial needs. How deep is your compassion?
Lee Johnson lives in Ogden. The Men of Justice and Compassion Association, The Men of Weber, advocates justice and compassion.