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Posts Tagged ‘compassion’

Asking for Compassion, Common Ground

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Sometimes I make deals with God/Goddess, and then I think, “well, that deal isn’t necessarily mine to make, but if You feel this is a good proposal, please run with it as best You can.”

And I look for other people to make concessions. I look for them to make concessions, to give ground, so we can move forward.

I make concessions in the way I live to better match my point of view, to lay the groundwork to help my ideals become reality, hopefully insofar that they are wise. I shop union stores as much as I can muster, I bike as much as I can muster, I reduce my driving and I handle multiple chores at once when I do drive as much as I can muster. And there are other things.

There’s still room for improvement–I can still bike more; I can eat less sugar. But I do what I can with a healthy dose of pushing myself beyond obsolete boundaries.

I guess the question becomes: what happens if a significant portion of the population holds a different point of view than I do–that their ideals don’t match mine significantly? Then in that case where can we at least find as much common ground as possible?

You see, I have a big favor I am asking of reality. And that favor is to see things from my point of view when it comes to the sentencing of the Cleveland 5 (some say the “Cleveland 4” because one of the people is testifying against the others, but even so, I believe in compassion for all, am not judging, am not judging).

I do not wish for these young men to be sentenced the extreme amount that some in our government have been asking: life sentences. That would be very very sad because some in the government actually created the plot and facilitated and pushed the carrying out of the plot for which the young men are being sentenced. If that is not entrapment in a bad sense, what is?

The sentence one of their lawyers is asking for is much more reasonable: 5 years.

So I’ve been wondering what can I do to give ground on my point of view about some issues so that other people will give ground on their issues? What can we do to be less extreme?

I’ve always considered myself pro-choice for the most part, but I’ve noticed that conversation about the details of what that means tends to be heated, so much so that I’ve just kind of held the issue at arm’s length and not engaged in discussion. Interestingly enough, I’ve experience far more anger from the “pro-choice” side of the issue than from the “pro-life” side, but this is probably because I tend to talk more relaxedly with people who tend to be “pro-choice” and tend to have more of them around me.

I am willing to make a concession, and that is that I can see that it is reasonable for people of sound mind and capabilities who are over 18 years of age to do better to prevent themselves from getting pregnant (except in the case of rape), and that these people should act more responsibly–and possibly that the right to an abortion regardless of circumstance might be something that we can reconsider.

(And yet I adamantly believe that children (people 18 years old and younger) do not have any obligation to carry pregnancies to term, and people who have been raped.)

Since I make this concession to seeing the “other” party’s point of view on abortion, will the “other” party see my point of view? And where can we find common ground on the anti-war issue and being pro-life?

~ Lady


Compassion is most applicable for those in need of it

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Compassion comes from a limitless well and we don’t have to dole it out sparingly. As a matter of fact, compassion is most called for in circumstances that try patience.

I think specifically of the Cleveland Five, mostly overgrown kids, young men who were part of the Occupy Cleveland movement. The FBI people came up with a plot to blow up a bridge, resources to do the plot, approached these young men with the idea, and encouraged and coaxed them to do it.

The five were among the most irresponsible of the bunch of activists—immature, some troubled. At least one of them had been to prison before.

But they are lovable despite all this, to me, at any rate. I’ve been through troubled times, and I think many excellent people have had these times, and it’s just something one gets over with time. These kids had an adolescent, creative spirit. I think of one of them and how he dressed, River Phoenix good looks, purposefully torn jeans. These kids wanted to be part of something larger than themselves.

The fact that they were caught up in a good movement was great (Occupy Cleveland operates according to principles of nonviolence), but unfortunately in Cleveland they were victimized by someone working on trying to discredit the movement.

The Cleveland Five had ideals despite falling for the plot. They thought outside of their own needs much of the time. They actually participated immensely in the maintenance of the info tent downtown. It was physically and mentally hard because one would not really know if another person was going to come for relief. Also, cold during the winter. Heck, they were out there all winter for lengthy periods of time, a lot of them!

They helped feed the homeless and they also made Public Square safer. Crime went down in the square when the movement was there. And these young men were a part of the movement.

I felt that due to their immaturity, remnants of adolescent anger and bravado, they were more susceptible to the person who was working for the FBI. The FBI person came up with the plot and supplied the means. Without him doing that, the young men would’ve not done anything like what they are being punished for.

It was unfair. It was like creating a virtual reality environment in which no harm can be done (because the explosives were set up to not work) and luring susceptible people in, but then punishing them for real as though they’d masterminded the situation.

Another analogy: it’s like those FBI people were drug pushers going around a junior high school tempting students. In that case, the law might penalize the drug pushers rather than the junior high school students who fall for the drugs. The students might get counseling whereas the pusher might go to jail.

In my opinion the proper course of action is for the young men to go to psychiatric hospitals for a year or so and then be released. And for the FBI to be investigated by Congress and/or its own internal quality control mechanisms such that it stops entrapping people! Entrapment like what the FBI did = causing bad situations. Entrapment does not equal solving problems. Entrapment only equals causing problems.

You can help with legal costs of four of the five here…

~ Lady



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