If you are like me, you may know a little about Jane Goodall and the research she did with chimpanzees. Goodall and other scientists have written about similarities between the DNA of chimps and humans with a genetic commonality as high as 94 to 98%.
This surface similarity doesn’t tell the whole story. According to an article in the Harvard Gazette, there is a depth of difference: Among the 3 billion base pairs in the DNA of both humans and chimpanzees, researchers found differences in 40 million sites. It is in those sites where the differences between the two species lie.
An article in Scientific American reported that the 2% difference between the genetic composition of a chimp and a human represents at least 15 million changes in our genome . . .
Most of us spend little or no time studying the differences between the genomes of chimp and human. We do, however, have a lifetime of experience in the perplexing way we as humans interact with each other.
Some people are incredibly kind and compassionate in the way they consistently treat others. There is a surface similarity in the words kindness and compassion. In fact, they are so similar; we often fail to note the depth of difference.
When we think of kindness, the qualities that should come to mind are the friendly and generous ways we treat people. This is a spirit of benevolence that reflects our concern for others.
Compassion on the other hand is the spirit of mercy. This is the seed that blossomed in the life of the Good Samaritan and moved him to help the badly-beaten man who was in need.
I believe it is possible for us to be kind without being compassionate; however, I don’t think a person can be compassionate without also being kind. It doesn’t take much thought to know that Jesus calls us to be both.
Note: The information about chimps and humans is excerpted from A Rat IS A PIG IS A DOG IS A BOY. This book examines the agenda of the animal rights movement and contrasts it with proponents of animal welfare.