The liberals use this term a LOT.
Think about it.
Is compassion all about feeling sorry? Of course you can empathize, but does empathy really help the one for whom you feel pain, or pity?
When an ixquick.com search is performed of the words: compassion, empathy, altruism, and relief (when paired with psychology) – almost invariably the key sentence in the synopsis provided on the search page leads one to believe that the act is more about the actor, rather than those who are in need of the action.
Empathy itself, of course, does not lead to action.
I can cry because someone is in pain. That does not mean I will necessarily “help” them (which leads to a whole another paradigm we will get to in short course).
Alternately, just because I “help”, doesn’t mean I feel a damn thing (for I am the Master and Commander of my feelings).
But the articles themselves seem to always focus on what acts of altruism (compassion) do for the individual.
Those of you who have read my column for a while now know that as a young man, I suffered from depression (don’t ask me how I “beat” it – I just kinda got over it. My physician at the time (and still) told my Mother I’d “grow out of it” (and I did). Great man, that physician (it’s a part of why I have stuck with him – but primarily just because I think he is a swell guy).
But, to the point, I was told (either by friends, professionals, or things I read on the subject) that one should find “something to take care of” to get past the depression (I chose Bonsai and a shark tank). By the way, I got this from some journal, or news article (not my physician – he’d tell me just to gut it out, and frankly, that method would likely have worked just as well).
So, for the individual to be “healthy”, he or she must, must, must do something for others?
I’m not certain of that.
I think one could be totally self-centered and completely content. In fact, think about most of the self-centered narcissists you know and you’ll see that, yeah, they are happy. Lonely, but happy.
When that changes it is likely because the individual’s happiness is challenged by another (say, they have a parcel of land they wish they had, or a wife or an ass they covet). That’s when it gets a little “dicey”.
So really, what I read from the psychologists is that these acts of “compassion” are really to a great extent, self-centered. In fact, con artists will often “do” “something” for you with not intent what-so-ever of helping you, but rather, helping themselves.
Do I take a dim view of the world ? Well, take the Dim-‘O-Rats (pleeease!).
“What a great guy that Greg is,” or “Gee, ain’t Jimmy just swell”. Public adulation may also be a motivator.
But any way you cut it, compassion is not always driven by pure motives.
Do those in need of it care? Probably not. Especially when they are so deep in misery that misery is all they can see.
It is what leads to the degradation of a society. People at one strata so very deep in pain, and at another so high on self-adulation that ‘never the twain shall meet’.
The fact is, feeling sorry, and doing good are really two very separate things.
To share the pain of another is human; to do something to try and ease that pain – divine.
So really, it is about motivation.
But when you add the spiritual component (I do this for God, and not for man), there are many other complexities in involved (“I am more Saintly than Thee” sort of mentality).
But think a move or two down the chess board.
Let’s say your personal act of self-sacrifice for others leads to a positive result, but the individual you helped feels no sense of gratitude, or perhaps there is no recovery from their state of degradation.
What then is the response?
Well, I would proffer that when self-motivated (this act of compassion), the response would likely be selfishness.
Well, well, well.
What did you expect, when it was “all about you” anyhow?
So, let’s take a different slant. What if it is not about how it makes you look in the eyes of your fellow man, or about how your efforts are “advancing the state of mankind”, or even “gee, it just has to be done” ?
What if it is about something much bigger, and much more noble.
What would God think ?
Who cares about your fellow man. As Mother Teresa so aptly put it “we will always have the poor among us”.
And it is true.
But Christ teaches us that we are to have pity on the poor.
It is not an act of feeling; for any one of us could suffer a separation from God (most likely at our own choice).
It is not some sacrifice at the altar of the universe either.
God’s realm and our own are two different things. That includes the universe (it too is His “footstool”).
There is no “magic” in this (hate to burst your bubble).
No “ying” and “yang” to balance an equation, no payback, or sacrifice for that matter at any altar.
The sacrifice has been completed. There is no “owing” or “beholding”; no balancing an equation of right and wrong, and no “coexisting” with every damn philosophy on the planet.
What it is, is – simple.
God commands, we perform. God requires, we deliver (sometimes).
I’m not going to pretend to understand, and I am not going to pretend to try.
Somethings are simply not worth it.
So the easy path is simple; just do it ’cause God says to do it.
How can you go wrong with that one !
Then, you see, it is neither about the poor dejected one, or about how it makes your soul “feel”. Then it can be pure, this simple act.
But overall, when the objective is totally centered on God, one can be assured in the confidence that it truly was done for the greater good (and not the P.R. cash it earns you in your goody-two-shoes balance sheet).
So eat that, you silicon valley tech moguls, and you Hollyweird morality experts. Tired of your preaching in your matinee temple-theaters of doom. Your morality ain’t my morality. Your ways, not God’s. Your thoughts ? From what I am seeing of ya, I did not realize you had any.
He’s gonna cut you down when you make it more about you, than about Him. Cut you down.
[TURN DOWN VOLUME IF AN ISSUE !!}