Emotion vs. Compassion RNF

Due to my demeanor, tone, and propensity for echoing the phrase “That is not logical.” with no sense of irony I was referred to as Spock more than once in my youth. As I did then I offer that compassion is a central requirement for a rational conclusion, but fleeting emotions have no place. Emotion will often (admittedly not always) lead to a detachment from our better mental faculties which can lead to conjuring up solutions to long term issues with a short term perspective.

Acknowledge the emotion (hurt, joy, pain, etc.), but do not operate by it. It seems straight forward enough, but I offer that before one makes that decision, texts that text, writes that Facebook post, tweets that tweet, closes that door, opens that door, etc. might I suggest an emotional spot check. Simply ask yourself, “Am I making this decision or statement from a place of emotion or compassion?”. What about what I am about to do or say seeks to build up another, rather than tear them down? To quote the name of a classic song “Where is the love?”. When I am done justifying my intentions to myself if I cannot see the love in what I am about to do, I doubt anyone else will be able to see or feel it either. Now even though I am prone to “Let one fly” when my mouth gets out ahead of my brain every now and again I still take a look at it through this looking glass of compassion. If I cannot see the love I must go back and do my best to make it right, not defend past misdeeds with further emotional self defensive bluster. Is the joke worth it if it leaves one silently suffering afterward? A truth wielded with malice cuts more deeply than a lie. An aggressive outward demeanor is most often a sign of inner-weakness and insecurity, not inner-strength and confidence. Attack before I am attacked if you will. If you have been on the receiving end of such behavior it is even more important to take stock before you react. We are all a work in progress. Do not get pulled in. Plus as I often quote my father, in one of his Obi Wan Dadism moments, saying “Who is the greater fool, the fool or the one that knowingly argues with a fool? Hard for a passerby to tell the difference.“. The beauty of it is that if we do take inventory of our past and do not like something we see, as long as we are here drawing breath we have opportunity to make past wrongs right.

Do not mistake emotion for compassion.


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