Thanks. I followed your advice and integrated the third paragraph into the rest of the text. I am having trouble connecting the 3rd. paragraph to the 4th. in the edited version, though, and would greatly appreciate some advice. Saying that I attempt to set an example would be dishonest, because that would make it sound as if that - instead of compassion itself - is the main reason for me acting.
Since my early childhood years I have been deeply affected by the misery and sadness of others. I wept when my parents once refused to buy a homeless man a meal, stood up against bullying in my class and volunteered as a visiting friend for the retirement home in my town. As a teenager I have sat down and listened to classmates whose parents were getting divorced, friends who were beginning to associate with bad crowds, and strangers whose eyes were teary. I have shared their despair, their sadness, their frustration and anger, and I have tried my best to help them by providing what support they needed at the time.
I have realized that the will to act out of compassion is something that seems to be disappearing from society, even though it is integral to a healthy one. It is a fuel of societal progress and reform, of revolutions and riots. Acting on it shows that you are willing to stand up to injustice, for what you believe in, and have the will to be a citizen. If it is disappearing, then what kind of society are we turning into? Not one I want to live in.
In a world that is becoming increasingly noisy and superficial, I listen, I notice, I send the smile, I ask the question, and I give the hug.
I care, and I am proud of all the smiles I have received and moods I have improved as a result.