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General Paper Essay Outline : We know more – but are we more compassionate ?

These are just some ideas. This outline is not meant to be taken as the only or final answer to the question.

warning handle with care

Stand : It is an unfair statement

1) When we know more, we have more empathy for those who are less fortunate and suffering >>> we want to help

2) In the age of social media where information can go viral, the spirit of giving and helping can also go viral. The online community can nurture community spirit that translates to compassion and real action.

However, human responses may vary…

3) Instead of compassion, other feelings emerge.
– Anger, especially with authorities who are then called out for not doing enough
– Helplessness over hardship & suffering that happen in faraway places

4) There is so much bad news in the media. Some of the audience are numbed and indifferent. If they see themselves as merely consumers of news, then they are looking for things that benefit them. What brings no benefit is ignored.

5) Suspicions over the authenticity of the news. Is this a genuine case or cause ? Disillusionment, rather than compassion, sets in, causing people to not help

6) Fun campaigning techniques become viral but do they work ? Soon, some people just follow along without catching the original message of compassion. (Thinking of the Ice Bucket Challenge here)

On the other hand, …

7) There is a need to address arguments that suggest that we do not grow in compassion despite our increase in awareness. There will be news & information that inspire compassion. A thinking person will check to verify before helping. Even if there is untruth in certain stories or maybe the hardship is too great to change with a single act of kindness, that same thinking person would also realise that his own acts of compassion can be worthwhile if it can be channelled to the less fortunate in his immediate surrounding, meaning his own neighbourhood or society. In other words, the information that set him reflecting has a benefit after all. He becomes more compassionate.


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