Uniting Through Compassion
Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” You noticed that last part like I did, right? A strong desire to alleviate the suffering. I was struck when I saw this definition…it is the single most powerful emotion behind the Marsy’s Law for Kentucky efforts.
You see, while some legislators and advocates have experienced for themselves the pain, confusion, and frustration of victimization and the resulting justice system, others have not. They haven’t experienced the fear and disruption when discovering their offender has been released and is walking the streets. Or the frustration of being kept from the courtroom during trial by a piece of paper, unable to see their offender held responsible for the crimes that they’ve suffered. Or the disappointment of learning that the original charges have been negotiated down behind closed doors.
Some people have been fortunate enough not to experience the justice system firsthand. And yet – the passion and dedication behind our efforts not only persists but is growing in intensity. The support for Marsy’s Law in the Kentucky community and amongst legislators just keep getting stronger. As more people listen and learn about the lack of constitutional protection offered to Kentuckians, the energy behind the effort swells like a wave. Eventually, it will crash into the shores of fairness. It will happen.
I often hear, “Why haven’t we already done this?” or “It’s so common sense.” These sentiments come from people of every background imaginable. Democrats and Republicans. Men and women. Young and old. Rich and poor. Rural and urban. Black and white.
And my suspicion is confirmed – compassion unites Kentuckians. Some policy issues – like Marsy’s Law – awaken the threads of empathy and understanding running between us. Not only are Marsy’s Law and stronger victims’ rights needed in our state, they are overwhelmingly supported. Now is the time to join in supporting Marsy’s Law as we work together on this issue that has united so many across our great state.