Saturday, 12 January 2008

How to cripple someone

I also ran into a list of virtues today.

Love, I have no problems with. We need to love and be loved to be fully human. Peace, I have no problem with - to build is better and more honourable than to destroy, always.

Charity, mercy - necessary for dealing with people. They're an oil for the inevitable friction of misunderstanding and failed expectations.

But it's compassion I have a problem with. I suspect that people don't appreciate how much damage compassion has done - I've seen it cripple people. It soothes, it validates victimhood. It can be like letting a bone set twisted, like telling the sufferer that that's the way it should be. I've been responsible for advising people with serious problems; if I had used less compassion, I would have been more effective at that.

Beware of anyone offering you unconditional compassion. Beware of confusing what you want with what you need.