Monday, October 26, 2009

(Com)Passion and Power

What Are Society's Motivators?

A friend pointed out to me the other day that I was operating with Passion, but not Compassion in a particular discourse. Truth be told, it is easy to drop the Com from Compassion in day to day life. But really, gentle readers, aren't we all called to walk with Compassion for our fellow man?

For my wife and me this has meant that we do our charity locally more than just sending cheques to organisations. We do support our local Church, and charities that we believe are doing good work, but much of what we do is more hands on now. We can do this in part because we have nothing but time on our hands, but also because we realise that it is the right thing for us to do.

Today, we are working on a quilt because a member of one of the quilt guilds that my wife is a participant in, challenged members to make quilts for youngsters who through no fault of their own are forced with a parent to find refuge from abuse in a shelter.

But, what of goverment? Take Human Rights, for example. OK, I will. We have government bureaucracies in charge of ferreting out human rights wrongs, and making them right. That just seems so wrong to me. It is, to me, and example of "Let the government do it." Why? Do they have a passion for this work? Sure doesn't look like it to me, if you take the shenanigans of J Ly and her band of cronies at the CHRC as an example? Ditto, Barb Hall and her folks at the OHRC. And don't get me started on Alberta, or BC for that matter.

While J Ly chases after pretend Nazis, and publishers, she does so at the expense of free speech in this country. Ask Marc Lemire how it feels to have his life put on hold for 6 years, and his back account empty, while the J Ly bunch pillory him and lie about him along the way to get a conviction, which in the end was hollow and opens doors to real freedom of speech in this country.

Ask Stephen Boissoin over in Alberta how it feels to be gagged by the Alberta HRC because what he said was not politically correct? It doesn't matter if he can prove the truth of what he says, because as we have all learned, truth is not a defence at the HRCs.

And in Ontario, the Barb Hallers are chasing after landlords, transit systems, and the like to bring "equality" to us all. Did anybody ask us if we wanted it or believed it was even real? See what George Jonas said about the elusive equality. He called it a Chimera with good reason.

Is there any Compassion in their work? Sure isn't any visible. They are paid to bring people down for discrimination of some sort or other, and are in marketing to make sure they have enough business to justify their sinecures. They even invent new human rights beyond the Charter along the way.

Is there Passion in their work? Maybe, but hard to tell. No, I think it is about Power, political power. I have seen too many cases that have no basis in the fundamental rights and freedoms that our Charter guarantees us.

The Barb Hall's of this world live for power, the ability to enforce made up rights is a good place to have power, because you make it up as you go.

Let's have a revolution, you and me. Let's work at treating our family first, then our neighbours, then the rest of our community with respect and dignity. Let's us stand up for Charter fundamental human rights, not hopey changey ones that are being thrust on us. Some wag said long ago: "Charity begins are home." So, let's try it. Let's make government redundant in areas of helping others. Let's care about one another without regard for religion or political, or other beliefs.

Oh, for this to work, we need a new attitude shift as well. Forget taking offence when someone says something against your beliefs. As one friend said to me more than once: "Suck it up Buttercup." Instead of filing a Form 1 with Barb or whatever the form is in another province or federally, spread love. Why, because "Love Does Not Take Offence."

Stop letting the government do it. Do it yourself. If you want to reduce taxes, get rid of the government meddling in your life at every turn. Make it only some turns, where they can do a better job than we can. They cannot look after our neighbour better than we can. Make them leave, because they are not needed.

Weaning away from government intervention everywhere we look won't be easy. They don't want to shrink, and we are usually too lazy to stop them.

Wake Up folks. It's our turn now.


Joshua S. said...

There are particular words - very important ones - that we hear and read less frequently than before. When important words fall into obscurity, we risk losing the connection with what they mean/represent.

"Compassion" and "vocation" come to mind almost immediately as "threatened words". And - I hesitate to point this out but... - social activism and volunteerism have not filled the void left by "the vocational calling" etc to medicine/healing, the priesthood, a religious order, public service.

Imagine how different our country might be if individual members of our political elites actually felt a "vocational calling to serve Canadians and Canada". Instead, we have "career politicians" many of whom have never worked for any sustained period of time in the kind of employment situations common to Canadian citizens.

Compassion is a whole different matter. In a world in which empathy is often misplaced and just as frequently turned on its head completely by our media and courts, genuine compassion has become lost in the mists of time.

Webster's Dictionary defines compassion as "...pity aroused by the distress of others, with the desire to help them." And I think that is a good secular definition of the word.

In matters spiritual, however, I believe compasssion assumes a greater importance as it addresses a fundamnetal value of Christianity. For purposes our our discussion, then, I would suggest "compassion" be defined without reference to "pity".

I suggest we replace "pity" with "love". Pity should not incite/motivate us to help and support those in need, our living Christian love should do that.

"Pity" can be acquired/elicited through deception by fraudsters of myriad descriptions.

But I know one thing about love: LOVE ALWAYS PREVAILS

Maybe I shouldn't argue with dictionaries...

I'd much rather discuss these things here with you people.

Joshua S. said...

To Continue:

So I felt a vocational calling to fatherhood. I knew I wanted to be a dad from the moment I knew I was in love with the girl who would eventually become my wife.

My own Dad died when I was 16. I needed my father so much at that age, and he was ripped from our family overnight - without warning and at the age of 50 - by a heart attack. The next half decade of my life was characterized by dissent, descent, and distance from all things "family". So reconnecting with the idea of fatherhood was very different indeed when it was suddenly awakened within me. naturally, the whole concept and dynamic of "family' proved fodder for hours of private rumination.

The kids are grown now and off on their own. In hindsight, I believe that shared and mutual love is the basis of genuine functional family and healthy human development. In my own family's case, I would include in that recipe a shared and mutual love for, and relationship with, God.

My beloved wife is HUGE on love - her heart is enormous and her energy is boundless. She is also one very determined lady. HER family, she promised herself, would be nurtured on love, thrive on love, and - with the love of God - bound by love as a family. The bonds of familial love are, like the bond of love with the Creator, a LIBERATING force which promotes the fulfillment of individual human potential. And what better way to praise God than to do the very best with the gifts He has given you?

Now, when things are shared and mutual, they are also TALKED ABOUT at the family dinner table. Every telephone conversation I have with my adult and manly sons ends with them saying: "Gotta run, Dad. Bye now. I love you." My daughters- and sons-in-law admit they had to "adjust" to this "new normal" - love wasn't as openly shared in their birth families. And this isn't just a "family protocol". The words are not "tossed off" like a salutory greeting. The are "measured" and delivered in such a way as to ensure that I "hear" that love. It melts my heart a little more each and every time.


Today, when I chat with the sons- or daughters-in-law, they, too, end up closing with "I love you, Dad." And they mean it, too.

And I return their love. Every time.

It might seem "corny" to some, but I note that "our" family values are the ones that predominate in our children's homes and families. This is not a point of "personal pride" to me but only more evidence that LOVE ALWAYS PREVAILS.

But I suspect it might be hard to toe this line if you don't enjoy a personal and committed relationship with God. It seems to me that, without God in your life, that love never seems as strong or as resilient, and often is broken (dysfunctional families). The presence of God in your life brings strength and resilience to every aspect of your life, including your capacity for/to love.

At least, from my humble, theist, God-loving perspective...

Michael Brandon said...

Too bad I am older than you, Joshua. Otherwise, I might ask you to adopt me.

I made a post of your first comment. It was too good to leave as a comment where it is less likely to be seen by others.

This one too will be up in the morning. Again, too good to not share more openly.

Thank you for taking the time to comment.