> Compassionate Silence

Compassionate Silence


By S. Eleanor Thielman

Compassion – what a thoughtful word, especially when shown to others.

I read an article in the Buffalo News dated July 10, 2019, that clearly showed compassion. In the story, Jack Higgins was ready to graduate from Carmel High School, but he needed a little help from his classmates. Jack has autism, with that comes sensory issues; for Jack, that means an extreme sensitivity to loud noises. On the day of Jack’s graduation, the school principal asked the entire audience to remain silent when Jack walked on stage to receive his diploma. The principal invited the audience to share their excitement for Jack by participating in a “golfer’s clap” — just the motion of hands clapping together without the final noise. As Jack approached the stage assisted by his two brothers, the entire auditorium was filled with silence for 10 minutes. Jack looked out to see the audience silently waving hands, sharing in the joy of his success.

The principal needs to be acknowledged for his compassion for this young man who had worked so hard to earn his high school degree. Compassion for others is so needed in our world today. A smile, a kind word, and a helping hand – there are so many ways to lift the spirits of others, and in return, your own.

St Francis of Assisi loved God’s people with compassionate love. He spent his entire short life showing this in action more than words.

Congratulation, Jack, upon earning your degree. May your future be filled with blessing and God’s provident care.