What do they mean by that?

The “Charter for Compassion” website features these words of introduction:

“We believe that all human beings are born with the capacity for compassion, and that it must be cultivated for human beings to survive and thrive.”

Months ago when some friends/family first indicated that they were more inclined to vote for Trump because he represented a break from non-performing government, and that his business acumen could add so much to our approach to more equitable wealth as a nation, I said “OK, but… he’s mean.” The conversation went downhill from there, as judging a candidate on the “meanness” scale wasn’t part of our national exercise. We were supposed to vote for whomever would be right for the country, independent of whether he or she had bad breath, kicked puppies and didn’t clean under the fingernails. Or so the narrative went. I was made to appear as unsophisticated — why should meanness matter at all when so much is at stake? I maintained then, that it would become clearer on the debate stage, two candidates side by side and compared in real time, how much “meanness” mattered. I had seen enough mean-spirited talk and witnessed enough mean-spirited actions against enough people somehow categorized as “other” to know that his teeth-baring was not a passing fad, and that the light of scrutiny would portray this mean streak every bit as barbed and dangerous as it appeared to me from the start. I was urged by these friends/family to witness how many Americans were supporting not his meanness, but his promises to shake things up. I was urged to put the meanness aside.

Who can do this? Who can support a mean-spirited bully and say it doesn’t matter? Who can not grimace at the thought of cod liver oil? Only those who have never tasted it…

In an election that divides families and friends, NOT so much on political lines, but on rah-rah-team big-guy’s-better-than-girlie side — I maintain “I love you, brother/sister, but why the hate?”

“We believe that all human beings are born with the capacity for compassion, and that it must be cultivated for human beings to survive and thrive.”

Cultivating compassion is important and necessary in a world that presents the humans of the earth more and more challenges every day. We are supposed to be able to figure things out with our big brains. Impossible if we lock them down with a singular and immutable version of reality. Impossible if some are made to feel intimidated, others feel entitled to intimidate.

One side of the political electorate is more obviously not cultivating compassion. One side of the political electorate is not interested in walking a mile in anyone else’s shoes. That is not bias, it is observation. Theirs is not compassion, it is meanness — not even indifference, which by comparison sounds benign. Theirs is a slamming closure. An end.

 

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One comment on “What do they mean by that?”

  1. Thank you. You always manage to hit the nail. Although “meanness” seems to mild a word. Were any of the people you know affected by the video of his disgusting behavior? Or would they be too embarrassed to say so?

    Sent from my iPhone

    >


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