The nightly news makes gladiator spectators of us all/ we decide from our armchairs who is innocent and who is not// #tinytwitterpoem
My facebook feed tonight has been filled again with the news of an execution.
My hands have hovered over the keyboard as I’ve read the conflicting opinions of my community, the circle of friends I’ve surrounded myself with.
And my thoughts, my words, my opinions, my questions and my comments have tumbled heavily inside my chest. As my hands hovered over every status and thread of comments, wanting to say….something.
To push, to nudge, to support, to provoke, to clarify.
To be better.
In my eyes or theirs I’m not sure.
And it’s kept tumbling, tumbling. Heavily in my chest.
And it keeps coming back just to this one thought in my deepest heart. If I look ten years into the future, who do I hope that I will have been? I hope that I will have always been the person who spoke, who gave, who lived with and in compassion. I don’t ever want to write the words “I have no compassion for….”
I don’t say that to shame anyone who has written those words. I say it to lay claim to who I want to be. To vocalize the choice I want to make to myself and to anyone who is reading this.
I want to have compassion.
Now. Tomorrow. And each tomorrow that unravels before me. Always compassion.
Compassion isn’t easy. Or simple. Compassion doesn’t mean I can’t feel angry or think bad things of people. But it means remembering that we all of us are people, living in the world. Making good choices sometimes and bad choices other times. Hurting each other and ourselves. It means remembering that broken people often come from other broken people. And that even when they don’t it means remembering that suffering breeds more suffering. That revenge is not justice. That punishment is rarely justice. That our lives and our choices sit on a great spectrum of right and wrong rather than falling neatly to either side of some great moral divide.
It means remembering always that I want to keep caring.
Because that’s the me I want to be.
I’m also seeing a lot of comments along the lines of “why do you care about that when this is happening” (eg. Bali9, Nepal, statistics of drug overdose, statistics of women dying due to domestic violence, etc, etc).
Why does it need to be one or the other?
Compassion isn’t a resource that runs out, you can have it towards many people/events at any given time.
Absolutely agree. I wrote half a poem about that idea of compassion/care being available for many things at once, but I couldn’t quite capture what I was trying to say so I put it aside for a little while.
It’s like saying you can’t feel sad when you’ve had something bad happen to you because others have it worse. It’s not a competition or a well that runs dry, we can have many feelings at the same time.
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I like this! Nicely written! I felt the same. Hands hovering over keyboard…
I feel like I spend too much time hovering (over thinking) sometimes! But it means that when I do hit the keyboard, generally speaking, what I say really does reflect what I feel!
As I get older, the importance of compassion has hit me strongly. I’ve come to hold compassion as a trait to be always rooted in. Thanks for writing about tough stuff so beautifully.
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Thank you for your lovely comment Kelly. I definitely don’t always succeed in finding compassion as the default, but I’m committed to continuing to strive for it.