Yeah, I am going to get in trouble for this one. So, what else is new? I predict at least five people will unsubscribe.
Compassion is just not for you. It is not just for your friends. It is not just for random people on the street. It must be extended to everyone. To feel this is not weakness.
There is a fellow that just shot a bunch of people in a movie theater. I condemn his actions. However, I must recognize how much pain such a man must have been in to do such a thing. He is most likely crazy and in horrible mental anguish. I have compassion for that pain. This is not to say I do not feel compassion for his victims and family but that is easy, isn't it?
The family of Joe Paterno? I have compassion for them. Their own personal hero is being publicly discredited. As far as I know, they did nothing wrong. How horrible it must be for them. This is not to say that I take away from anything he did or failed to do or from Sandusky's victims.
I feel compassion for Sandusky's victims. There are simply no words I have to even understand their life-long pain. If they caught up to him in later life and pulled his eyes out of his head, I would understand.
I feel sorry for Sandusky. He couldn't have done that tough job and been stupid. He must know the incredible damage he's done. How badly do you feel when you accidentally harm someone? Knowing he did it on purpose...to CHILDREN...he must be miserable and have been miserable long before he got caught. Now he is in prison for a very long time, a fate he deserves. However, it is an unnatural state for a human to be locked up. I feel compassion for the pain he suffers.
Do not make any mistake, he deserves his fate. I would never let him out of jail. Ever. I would also lock up all the administrators that remained silent. Then, I would feel compassion for their plight.
Compassion isn't about condoning a crime. It is co-sharing another's pain no matter its source.
This is easy for me. Why, because I do not know a single victim of these crimes and I wasn't a victim myself.
While I am not a Christian, having love and compassion for others, especially the rejected, is the best thing Christ taught.
Now it gets harder for me. There are those that have hurt those I love and myself. I condemn their actions. The reason for this is simple. When we are wronged it creates a sort of blinder. All we see is the deed, the betrayal or whatever. To develop compassion, I must see the whole person. Every part of the person, the good and the bad.
Frankly, there are some people that I will never feel compassion for using that as a tool because I simply will never know them well enough to see a bigger picture. I have to fall back onto something more general, like they way I feel about that shooter. Other people, I know better. I know the good there. It would do me good to remember it and place actions good and bad within a whole.
A fully spiritual man is a fully compassionate man. Sooner or later, I will get there.
Next post: How Truth Brings Compassion and Friendship