I forced myself to wake, rubbing my eyes as I twisted my body to gaze at the window on the far side of the room. Light splintered in, sneaking along the floor from the gathering pool under that cracked window with its shuddering curtains. "I wake up every morning, dreading things that have yet to happen." I whispered to myself, squeezing my eyes shut. "This world has turned her back on me."

Why must I be so insignificant?

This day started as any other, repeating the same bland routine. I felt lost, drowned by the enormous daily workload. The world around me felt void of color; a cold, unmoving mask of perpetual doubt. My internal window was nailed shut, and offered no trickles of warmth to what lay under my feet.

What did this world ever offer me, besides disappointment?

I rose out of bed and stood, crossing the room to close the window. A flash of white abruptly intruded my line of sight.

Could this be another daily omen, warning me of impending failure?

I grasped it in mid-air. The paper crinkled feebly under the weight of my grip.

It read as follows:

Feeble hands held by you will hold yours when you are in need. This window you are about to close is a doorway to chance at personal success. Remember your own kindness, and pass it to those who need it. Take away your own dark clouds by becoming someone else's ray of sunlight. Compassion is the key.

Compassion is the key?

I read it over and over, holding the letter close to me. I opened the window fully, inside and out. The depth of what I witnessed, then, blinded me so much so I neglected to notice the wry smile directed my way. One of my neighbors stood across the yard, astute, placing a ballpoint pen back into their pants' pocket.

Compassion is the key.

Compassion is a means of instilling and repairing hope. The tiniest indication of light from a compassionate act is like giving life itself. Whether expressed through donations, holding doors, helping the elderly, volunteering for the sickā€¦ The outcome is the same.

As said by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: "What comes from the heart goes to the heart."

I plan to spread my kindness and compassion by speaking up for the underdogs, the passive, forgotten. I want to help those who feel like I have felt. Journalism was not my first career choice, but I will follow through with it if it means giving someone hope.

If this society can open up and come together, we as a species can move forward and forget our differences. No longer will there be prejudice or malice, only hope and a constant drive to push forward.

Open a window to give and receive compassion, and you open yourself to amelioration.