Riots Of Compassion

I love being by myself. Having being fortunate to have been born a twin, I think that this has given me a unique ability to appreciate my own company. In fact it’s something that I often find myself craving. I like nothing better than to grab the current book I am reading, leave the mobile on charge and head down to my local coffee shop. A large Cafe Latte and I’m sunken deep into a comfortable sofa, people go about their business getting their morning fixes of cappuccino and espresso as I just sit there, taking my much-needed break from the world. It is here as I read that my mind begins to wonder, speculate and gets inspired. I find that factual books often ignite my creative think tank, The article Old Enough To Die written for Vanity Fair June 1999 by the late and exceptional writer Christopher Hitchens, is very much an inspirational piece, just as it’s argument is ultimately and completely correct, it has ignited my creative fuse and thus the walk back from the coffee shop was certainly a brisk and excitable one! So Christopher, thank you for the inspiration and wherever you maybe now, this one, is for you, regardless of if you agree with my points, or not.

It’s a sad moment, when parents first become frightened of their children.
Ama Ata Aidoo

We are blessed in the West. We have everything that any human being could ever wish to have, in fact we have more, and if you think that’s not so, then I’m afraid you’re an idiot. However, we have failed. Certainly not in terms of dreams being realised or the amazing ability to recognise genius and to embrace new ideas, that area of our society is completely on the incline and I genuinely believe, dispute the state of the economy, that right now, is perhaps the most exciting time to be alive (certainly if Back to The Future 2 has any oracle like clout about it).

Nevertheless, through our care and commitment to abolish poverty we have created a new class of men and women, born out of a cocktail of laziness, woe is me, selfish and uneducated attitudes, a new bread of freeloader has emerged. The summer riots of last year have certainly headlined the fact that, we as the intellectuals, have failed a group of people who needed our help. Much like the annoyed stressed out single parent, we gave into their whims with free cash and goodies, thus creating a monster of spoilt proportions (the under class literally ran a riot)! This brushing under the carpet mentality is the plague rather than the problem of the working and middle classes. Never has there been a time where the ears of Leftists and Rightists need to listen to one another, and thus resolve this terrible issue; the thick dust needs to be blown off that wooden spoon of righteousness, and made ready to issue some much needed and longed for tough love.

The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men.

Much to my Mothers annoyance I was a rather “spirited child” that spent more time outside of my teachers class room, than in it. My Mother used to chase me round the house with the wooden spoon, pretty much every night just to try to get me into bed. And when I was naughty, really, really naughty, she would certainly make sure that I knew about it. Yet regardless of how painful the punishment I would still push the boundaries of my Mothers tolerance. Was I conducting some-kind of genesis child, social experiment, pushing my poor Mother to the brink of sanity because I refused to get down from the roof of our neighbours house, only to take record of my Mothers blood pressure when confronted with a situation that was completely out of her control? The more she would demand of me, the more I would rebel, even today when I am expected to do something, it instantly gets my back up! I want to do whatever I want, so what is it that’s stopping me from being a member of this under class? It certainly isn’t fear, nor is it the drive to succeed as ultimately all I want from life is fun, which when you look at it, both sides of the spectrum can in fact offer. So what is it? Well, I know the answer, and it’s one that the education system and parents certainly need to address.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
Dalai Lama

The fear of hurting someone or letting somebody down comes from a deep-rooted instinct to nurture our children, nevertheless unfortunately there are those people who when growing up, never had the luxury of compassion in their lives, however on the flip side to this, there are also those that had too much, to the point where compassion was expected to be in a fresh abundance when leaving the nest and entering adult life, both situations ironically produce an almost identical individual, that acts on their anger in a destructive capacity, either to themselves or to others. The education system is failing as it doesn’t recognise the importance of these two areas, and I am a firm believer (if perhaps a slightly right winged approach) that we need to educate expecting parents in these fundamentals.

The differences between right and wrong certainly helped me to overcome my troublesome behavior as a child, but ultimately it was the realisation that I was hurting my Mother that changed me. As soon as she stopped being angry and became sad, at my constant misbehaving, that upset in the eyes of my Mother was a thing that I never wished to see again, and the fact that it was me doing it, changed me completely, after all I love her. I know I make it sound so simple, of course nothing is simple and every human being is different, which is one of the many reasons why we need to look at people on a case by case basis. But like everything in life, it’s easier said than done. It is this compassion that has stopped me from being a menace to society as I am fully aware that any actions no matter how small, can ultimately affect someone’s well-being. But how do you teach somebody to care about a stranger? Ironically there is a group of people who caused more deaths than any other in such a short amount of time in human history, that when subjectively studied their model of a utopia is unlike any other, and was a complete success, until they got greedy.

He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.
Adolf Hitler

To quote Hitler is of course in any given format, risky business and the last thing that I want is to get anyone’s backs up, nevertheless, heed my point! Hitler was of course an animal. A deluded crazy person that wanted to own the world with an iron fist and exterminate the Jews. However, there are elements of Nationalism like Patriotism, that governments should certainly look at. After all if it wasn’t for the Nazi’s we wouldn’t have put a man on the moon when we did. Nazi Germany was (providing you weren’t either a foreigner, gipsy, black, gay or Jewish person) a great place to live in the late 30’s. Hitlers government brought a country that was crippled, back from the brink of ultimate destruction. Of course many of his methods in realising his plan, were completely unjust. yet the Nazi youth programs ability to build comradeship among the German children, was exceptional.

This is clearly highlighted at the final Battle in Berlin 1945 where teenage children were fighting for the good of their nation and protecting their fellow-men, which is certainly the opposite of what happened in England last summer. Now of course I am not saying that we should copy their methods, I am merely making a point that the spirit of the people of our western nations, are lost. Instead of being taught to be strong and support each other, we are given images on a daily basis that make us all afraid of a cruel and evil outside world, depending on your own boundaries of what constitutes your world will determine where the fear begins, and sadly for many it’s anywhere outside their living room. The Nazi’s did it with Propaganda which was of course copied by the west and given the name Public Relations. Perhaps there is no way of gaining National pride unless there is an enemy for all of us to project our hate and compare ourselves to?

In all honestly I don’t know enough about politics to raise such awareness, but I do know one thing. National pride will change everything, and for someone to stand on the left to say such a thing, even if it is myself saying it, is a big statement to make.

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25 thoughts on “Riots Of Compassion

  1. I have nothing of any value to add here, for you have placed every word and sentiment so perfectly already. I will say that I could have written it myself, down to your compulsion to be a decent person…a compulsion that grew out of your compassion for your Mother, and your realization of your place in the world…and what a sad, little world it is. I could’ve written it all myself. And that is so refreshing to find. And much needed today.

  2. Pingback: Riots Of Compassion « Mockingbird, Don't Write

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  4. … born out of a cocktail of laziness, woe is me, selfish and uneducated attitudes, a new bread of free loader has emerged.

    I really like that cocktail metaphor, but small typo, mate. Think you meant to say, “a new bread of free loafer“, right?

  5. Just attended a lecture on the role of fear living in an ethical society. One of the topics we discussed afterward is courage. How are we teaching today’s children to be courageous. More Americans live in fear than ever. There is media exploitation of fear – one of the basic human emotions.

    At the turn of the twentieth century, fear was seen as traumatic (best to avoid) according to Randy Best of the Ethical Humanist Society of the Triangle.

    The world is not safe. It never was. But increasingly, Americans are regulating every activity of their children. In the 50’s we feared communism, nuclear war, stockpiled food and did under cover drills in schools. Americans are trained to fear the foreign enemy. Look at what’s happened to us since 9/11 and the Patriot Act. Our emotional exhaustion from fear is being stoked by the medi.

    • I was just thinking this same exact thought the other day. I pondered the thought of writing a post about the fear, we as Americans, have begrudgingly accepted, all in the name of being “safe” and “free”. But it is what it is.

  6. I can see the point you are trying to make but when you give the example of Nazi Germany, you are making the mistake of not quite understanding of what was going on back then. Yes, the Hitler Youth was used to brainwash the Youth into Nazi beliefs but did you know that everyone was forced to join (and if you refused you ruined your chances of any kind of nice life ever)? Did you know that everything Hitler achieved was built upon throwing the nation into such a deep debt that war was really the only way out? Did you know that it wasn’t only the groups you mentioned above that had a problem but absolutely everybody who disagreed with any of the policies of the Nazis? If you are told over and over again that if you don’t fight, your mother/sister/girlfriend will be raped and become a slave of the big bad Russian, of course you fight. I believe that has nothing to do with patriotism. The people who were rioting in the summer would fight for their families too if it ever became necessary.

    • Unfortunately for you, Nazi Germany is an easy target, and it is supposed to serve as a cautionary tale. But the human race continues to fail to learn the lessons from the tragedies of its history. We continue to point the finger at individuals and groups of people as the cause of such and such, and to ourselves, we say, “oh, that would never happen here. We would never do that. *I* certainly would never be a party to that!” But the truth is, many factors lead up to these events, and those are still ignored. The capacity for atrocities exists in all of us. No person or group is immune to it. And no government, religion or other institution will protect you from it. You cannot buy, bribe, elect, or pray or your way out of your personal responsibility to yourself and your fellow human. It is up to us, first as individuals, to learn to recognize the dangers, lurking in our own hearts and minds. That is difficult enough as it is, but it is a start.

  7. If more people had the courage to put action to words; set aside difference and learn to compromise; learn to shut their mouths and listen, maybe, just maybe, we can get some things done and turn the country around. Everybody wants to be right for the wrong reasons. Selfishness and apathy is really not as widespread as people think, but you can’t tell by the way they plaster such sentiments and images through media, newspapers, blogs, websites, etc…

    • Well said. Listening is an extremely difficult skill. Not sure anyone really teaches it properly either. I struggle with it every day. As for compromise, I think particularly in North American culture, it’s gotten a bad rap. Politicians and the media love to mock compromise as wishy-washiness, as being a failure, as conceding defeat. I think it stems from a competitive sports mentality. Sports may provide metaphors that Americans can understand, but they don’t do justice to the entire range of human experience and we do ourselves a disservice by trying to reduce everything to bottom-line, win or lose. The economy is not simple. Social problems are not simple. It’s not us and them. It’s just us, but we are many and we are not all the same.

      • See that’s the thing, everything in this society has become sport. The way we sit around and analyze every single move that is made. The pundits all talk about how good each persons performance is but I don’t see them trying to put themselves in a position to do any better. It’s easy to say what you’ll do from the sidelines….

        But that’s the society we live in. There’s always somebody that has a “better way” or a “brighter vision”; somebody that claims to understand the trials and tribulations of the least among us. It’s just a play on emotions. They don’t really give a damn until their bottom line is affected. That’s when all hell breaks loose and all of sudden they show rage and cry foul.

        Again, that’s the type of society we live in. Where there’s winners and losers, people on top and people scraping the barrel. Capitalism produces this, well, the sort of capitalism that is practiced these days. Where the redistribution of wealth is now directed to the top and not the bottom.

        If it weren’t for the folk on the bottom, the ones on top wouldn’t have anybody to step on to get where they are; if it weren’t for the bottom, they wouldn’t have anybody to keep them propped up. I can go on and on but I’ll shut my mouth for now.

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