I feel sad most days of my life. It’s not that I don’t have things to be thankful for or happy about, but there is typically a lingering sadness in my heart. At times when I laugh it is tinged with underlying sadness because of the state of our world. If you look near us, there are people living on the streets with hungry bellies, and if you look afar there are children dying of malnutrition and people fleeing war. It seems like the sadness, pain and suffering has no end.
The sympathy/pity/sorrow that I feel on behalf of others is just a feeling. It can make me feel miserable, but honestly isn’t going to benefit me or anyone else…unless it is somehow put into an action. When I think about it, the energy that is spent on feeling sadness or pity could be put into action and actually HELP SOMEONE.
Do those feelings of sympathy/pity/sorrow change you or just make you feel sad? What if those feelings changed you, actually changed your life, and caused you in turn to change other people’s lives? What if those feelings “transformed” you and actually gave you the “power” to “transform” the life of someone else?
Years ago I was exposed to heartbreaking needs. It was overwhelming, and honestly I just wanted to run away and forget what I saw. I saw the need and then I had to make a decision if I was going to forget and push it out of my mind or act. I then felt the responsibility of seeing the atrocities and had to decide if I would be a part of the solution or ignore it and harden my heart. Either way, I knew my eyes couldn’t forget what they saw and this would change me. Honestly, since then my life hasn’t ever been the same.
So let’s see the need, ponder it and feel the pain of others’ suffering. Let it transform us and move us to action to transform someone else’s life. This kind of action will never equate to a wasted life!

— Shaunessy McNeely