We are living in the Information Age. The average person has more connectivity and more access to more information now than at any point in history. With the tap of a few buttons we can have diagrams, studies, opinions, news reports, and entertainment in an instant.

So are we just ingesting the information we have or are we using it to make things better? Do we even know what problems there are in the world or how to solve them? Does liking or tweeting a post really make a difference?

On a single night in January 2013 the Housing and Urban Development’s Point in Time Survey was conducted and found 610,042 in the United States and 215,344 people were living in unsheltered locations. In 2013 nearly 140,000 children experienced homelessness.

Each year 46.5 Million individuals turn to the Feeding America network for food assistance. This is an estimated 15.5 Million households. and 39% of those households included at least one child. The median household income was $927 a month in 2014.

783 million people are without clean water worldwide according to The Water Project. “Half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from a water-related disease” Nearly 20% of deaths for children under the age of 5 are due to a water related disease. This was updated in August of 2016.

Information is great and all but are we ignoring the people and situations around us?

What we need more than information is compassion. Compassion is being so concerned about another person’s struggle that you are compelled to act. Compassion is not only posting, tweeting, emailing, or blogging about homelessness or hungriness or safe water; it is acting on the feelings you have. It is not only raising awareness it is solving problems. It is not apathetic, pat-yourself-on-the-back liking, it is boots on the ground, holding out your hand action.

But how can I help? Good question.

If you do not have the funds to open a homeless shelter or dig wells in Africa there are still ways you can help. Volunteer at your local food pantry, donate to a reputable charity, give blood, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, or help a person or family that is on hard times.

But do not congratulate yourself for just raising awareness. The whole world could be aware of an issue and never solve it if no one has compassion. Knowing about something and doing something about it are two very different things. One takes effort, investment, and time; one takes nothing at all.

So what will you choose?

“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.”
                                                                                               –Nelson Mandela
For more on this subject see another post of mine “A Little Bit Better
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