Year 6 student Paul Heffernan spoke beautifully at the Preparatory School assembly last Friday about compassion. His speech was inspired by his grandfather, who used to remind Paul regularly about the value of being compassionate and caring. Paul has given us permission to publish his speech below. There is a lesson in this for all of us.
Today I am going to talk about compassion. The dictionary meaning of compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. That means feeling sorry for someone who is unfortunately suffering and wanting to help.
The Disney movie ‘Cars’ shows a good example of compassion. It is when the three cars Lightning McQueen, The Hudson Hornet and The King are all fighting it out for the Piston Cup and for Lightning McQueen and The Hudson Hornet for the new Dinico car sponsorship. So, it is The King’s last race but Lightning McQueen is smashing it when he looks up at the track screen and he sees The King fall off the track and he can’t get started again, so Lightning McQueen goes back and helps The King finish the race and he gives up the Piston Cup and potentially the sponsorship deal. Lightning McQueen shows compassion because he sees The King sad, miserable and hurt and he wants to get rid of The Kings bad feeling so he goes back to help The King at his own cost.
In 2017 in The London Marathon after almost running 26 miles David Wyeth’s legs literally collapsed under him just metres from the finishing line. Matt Rees was running in the same race and stopped to help him along. He was encouraging him, saying nice words and supporting him with his arms literally holding him up as others ran past. This act of compassion meant that David Wyeth could finish the race. The compassion is that Matt Rees could have got a better place and a PB but instead he helped someone to finish. He saw David Wyeth was nauseous, struggling and breaking down and he wanted to help him. Now they are good friends and ran the 2018 London Marathon together. Therefore, they both benefitted from the act of compassion.
At school, we Guildfordians can show compassion every day. I am going to give you three examples.
Firstly, if someone hurts themselves in the playground you ask “Are You Okay?’’ and maybe take them to the nurse. You may be late to class or not be able to play with your friends as much at lunch but it is more important to help those that are suffering.
Secondly, picking up rubbish. You will be showing compassion to the environment by keeping it clean and you might even save or help an animal like our Guildford ducks, because they might have got stuck or trapped in the rubbish you’re picking up. You’re also keeping our school clean. Just by taking a little time to pick up one or more bits of rubbish can make a huge different.
Lastly you can encourage people by saying nice words. You can encourage people anywhere, like in the classroom if one of your classmates is having a hard time on a question you can say “you can do it’’ or on the sporting field if someone is tackled and looks hurt you can say “You’ll be ok” or “Keep going”.
If we all show compassion to each other we will be giving the school a happier environment and become a tighter community. Being compassionate means that you need are aware of those around you who may be suffering and are ready to leave what you are doing to help them.
If all of us showed more compassion the world would be a much nicer place and everyone would be happier. And by looking out for other people you will end up feeling happier about yourself that you helped someone.
I will finish with a Quote by Brad Warner:
“Compassion is the ability to see what needs doing right now and the willingness to do it right now”.
Year 6 student
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