Sunbeams  June 2017 | issue 498

Life is just a short walk from the cradle to the grave — and it sure behooves us to be kind to one another along the way.

Alice Childress

Always be a little kinder than is necessary.

Sir J.M. Barrie

Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.

Horace Mann

Genuine compassion comes from the fact that you see your own limitations: you wish to be kind, and you find that you aren’t kind. Then, instead of beating yourself up, you see that that’s what all human beings are up against, and you begin to have . . . genuine compassion for the human condition.

Pema Chödrön

Suffering makes kinsmen of us all.

Elbert Hubbard

Compassion for me is just what the word says; it is “suffering with.” It is an immediate participation in the suffering of another to such a degree that you forget yourself and your own safety and spontaneously do what is necessary.

Joseph Campbell

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?

George Eliot, Middlemarch

Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.

Henri J.M. Nouwen

You may call God love, you may call God goodness, but the best name for God is compassion.

Meister Eckhart

When the Stranger says: “What is the meaning of this city? / Do you huddle close together because you love each other?” / What will you answer? “We all dwell together / To make money from each other”? or “This is a community”?

T.S. Eliot

Give people what they need: food, medicine, clean air, pure water, trees and

grass, pleasant homes to live in, some hours of work, more hours of leisure. Don’t ask who deserves it. Every human being deserves it.

Howard Zinn

Provision for others is a fundamental responsibility of human life.

Woodrow Wilson

We don’t let people starve or freeze to death in this country (usually), so why do we routinely let them suffer and die for lack of access to healthcare?

Kevin Horrigan

America’s healthcare system is second only to Japan, Canada, Sweden, Great Britain, . . . well, all of Europe. But you can thank your lucky stars we don’t live in Paraguay!

Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

[U.S. senator] Rand Paul . . . said, “I’m a physician, and if there’s national health insurance, the government is forcing me to take care of somebody who is ill. Why should I be a slave to the state?” Here we’re getting capitalist pathology in its most extreme, lunatic form. It is the opposite of solidarity, mutual support, mutual help.

Noam Chomsky

I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.

Donald Trump

Let’s be clear. The debate over healthcare in this country is not a debate about medical treatment or the best way to prevent disease. It is a debate about economics and class politics. Either we maintain a profit-driven healthcare system whose main function is to enrich certain individuals and institutions, or we develop a nonprofit, cost-effective system that provides quality healthcare for all people as a right of citizenship.

Bernie Sanders

It is hard to talk about a middle ground for something that is a fundamental right.

Teri Reynolds

Every life deserves a certain amount of dignity, no matter how poor or damaged the shell that carries it.

Rick Bragg

I have no idea what’s awaiting me, or what will happen when all this ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing.

Albert Camus, The Plague