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   WZM Award for Compassion 


WZM Award


WZM Award presented to Brianna Edwards on June 6, 2017 - Frazier Mountain High School







When I look around our society today, there is something fundamentally wrong about how people act towards one another. Where in our history did we decide that personal success, or the success of one group over another, is more important than our shared characteristic of being human? We have neglected to put aside our own personal wants in order to give support and kindness to someone else in need. We have forgotten, not how to be compassionate, but rather how to live compassionately. But the great thing is that the power of compassion creates a chain reaction. It only takes one person to make a difference.

When I was in middle school, I was not very social. This, and my high grades, labeled me as an outsider. While having nice friends, I did not form any really close bonds with them, and I found myself constantly rejected for new and more fun friends. I had problems opening up and I started to develop a cynical view on people’s interactions. Thankfully, in high school a guy took notice of me, and he ended up changing my life. When we first started talking I was the epitome of awkward, and our first few conversations were cringe-worthily boring. However, he did not give up on me. Over a period of several months he slowly got me to open up to him, and through that I also opened up to myself. Because of the compassion he showed me, I became a much happier person and more comfortable and confident in myself. I also formed stronger connections with others and today have an amazing group of friends.

The compassion shown to me opened my eyes to the change one person can bring to another. I am proud to say I passed that on. My junior year of high school, a girl was betrayed by her friends. I knew this girl. She had once been my friend, but had then become friends with some other girls who slandered me. Not only did she lose her only friends at the time, but the story they told discredited her to many of her peers. Despite our rocky relationship, I reached out to her and we talked about what had happened. That day I offered her my support and friendship. Today she is one of my best friends, and she has told me that the past year and a half have been her best in high school.

Compassion is not a difficult thing to practice. At first it may be hard because it takes selflessness to open yourself to others; but compassion is powerful, and it only makes things better. By living compassionately, a person can not only change the lives of others, but develop into a better person as well. If we each spread the message of compassion with our actions, we can solve the largest fundamental issue in our society today by emphasizing the importance of every person and our interpersonal relationships and responsibilities to one another.



Ruth Ratna Handy, LCSW
(818) 834-5925


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