Do you pay any attention to international news? If so, you may have picked up on the themes that run through unrest in many places. The vast majority of developed countries have extreme unemployment problems. While the causes run much deeper, that issue has become a catalyst in movements against immigrants and other undesirable people. In many places people in a minority (religious, race, sexual, and/or political) are forced to flee in fear of losing their lives.

I think we all come equipped with a compassion-counter; it is a device for measuring our concern and empathy for others. When compassion gets dangerously low it emits an alarm, a sound that gets louder as compassion levels decrease; mine is currently deafening.

When I hear people in our own country ranting about immigrants, gays and etc., I instinctively connect the dots with world events. When I hear people supporting the rights of the super rich at the expense of the lower economic strata, my heart cries tears of anger.

I am unable to change anyone’s heart or mind and I cannot change the course of human events; I can however add my voice in opposition. I think of it like driving. I can’t take idiot drivers off the road; though, I can honk my horn, flash my light and make hand signal to notify folks that their actions are not acceptable.

My essays, poetry and in some ways comedy are all part of that signaling process. So as metaphor, rather than shaking a fist in anger, I’ll simply raise one finger as a signal that compassion levels need to be addressed.