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“On Compassion” and “Homeless” Essay

The thesis of On Compassion by Barbara Lazear Ascher is: we can’t deny that homelessness exists when it hits us in the face everyday. Compassion is not a trait that we inherit, it is a learned experience. The thesis from Homeless by Anna Quindlen is the homeless were once just like us but something happened to them that made them lose their homes.

In On Compassion, Ascher presents us with three scenarios as I have mentioned before. A man who is walking down the street when a woman hands him a dollar bill. A man who receives bread and coffee from the owner of a cafe and the mayor of NYC who moved the homeless into the hospitals. We discussed whether or not the gesture was out of fear or compassion and I came to the conclusion that it was fear that motivated the gift. But, all in all what is Ascher’s point? Her point of the story is: a person isn’t born compassionate. As one goes on with their lives different events and experiences shapes their mind set that makes them grow compassionate.

In Homeless by Anna Quindlen she gives us a homeless woman named Ann. She was doing a story on homeless and the woman was trying to prove her wrong by showing pictures of her house. Anna realized that this woman was just like all of us before. The point that Quindlen is trying to make: the homeless were people just like us once, they were no different.The thesis of On Compassion by Barbara Lazear Ascher is: we can’t deny that homelessness exists when it hits us in the face everyday. Compassion is not a trait that we inherit, it is a learned experience. The thesis from Homeless by Anna Quindlen is the homeless were once just like us but something happened to them that made them lose their homes.


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