Apologies for sloppy blogging…

Sorry for the lack of updates. I’m now on vacation, and getting ready to actually go on vacation kept me busy. I’ll be trying to think of some good stuff to blog about. And, I’ve been challenged to try and raise some eyebrows like I promised when I began this blog, so I’ll be thinking about that.

The other reason for not blogging is I’ve been watching a lot of the basketball tournament. My bracket is already in shambles, but the games have been so fun to watch. Two “3” seeds and one “2” seed gone just today! Back in touch later.

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5 thoughts on “Apologies for sloppy blogging…

  1. gregg, i liked the guy from india who spoke yesterday. after the service, i asked him if her could answer a question for me: “does compassion have the same meaning in hindusim, buddhism and christianity?” his answer seemed a little pained, as he said “yes, but it really matters where compassion is comming from and where it is going and whether or not it is based on truth” (my paraphrasing). what do you, or any other bloggers, think about that? i am in conversation with a buddhist right now over the meaning of “compassion”, and there does appear to be some difficulty in either the language or underlying concept, or both. is compassion different for different faiths, or even for the maoists, of which he spoke, or the monarch now playing for power in nepal? can we humans not even agree on this simple concept?

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  2. Matt, Compassion is an instinctive response to suffering – When we see suffering, we feel compelled to do something, anything. I can’t speak for other cultures but my belief is that the expression of compassion has changed over time and we sometimes feel at odds with what we can do and what we should do. We need wisdom.In the old days, when someone suffered, we could do nothing but enter into their cry of pain with them. Today, in our culture at least, we often abandon the sufferer (especially if their suffering has a medical diagnosis) to technology and maybe even to impersonal clinicians outside of the person’s true community. We may be relieving symptoms but we are not reducing the suffering that comes from a deeper inner place than physical pain. All compassion should be balanced with both technology and wisdom. Maybe the differences you are noticing are not so much in the definition of compassion but in how different cultures express their compulsion to do something, anything, in the face of another’s suffering. And in the degree of wisdom of the individual you are visiting with. Just a thought…

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  3. yeah, that is a good answer, and a thoughtful one. but i guess that i am skeptical about the need to link compassion to religion and politics. is it really neccessary? that was more the intent of my question. if you remember from the message, he said that the indian government wanted no help from the west for tsunami relief. another example from the region might be the desire of the iraqis to have us out of the the “new iraq” as soon as possible. they don’t appear very grateful for our attempt to ‘liberate’ them. there are other geo-political examples i could cite, but it labors the point: why would compassion or help be rebuffed by so many ? why do many homeless want the food and shelter but, at best, only tolerate the attempts at religious conversion? most shun what those with sincere hearts trying to help think most important : spiritual conversion. is it really just laziness on their part ?shouldn’t comapssion stand on it’s own and speak for itself, being enough in itself, completely free of any need for recompense ? what do you think of the humanistic understanding of altruism – being good for goodness sake alone ? a naturally occuring (although infrequent) act we see in all living things ?is christian compassion really free, or is there some spiritual string attached? is love free?

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  4. No, it isn’t necessary to link compassion with either religion or politics but the fact of the matter is that where people gather in groups, be they social, political, religious or otherwise, they have a natural tendency to eye a sad situation, look at one another and say, “Someone should do something!” And many times, they do leap into action – in the name of their group…with sincere hearts trying to help…Groups decide what action to take based on their own values, needs and ideals. If a recipient of charity resists an “act of kindness” is it because they are lazy or could it be because more than the gift, they are rejecting the strings that are attached to it? Or because they has decided what is being offered isn’t what is needed? Maybe it is because they are too proud to humble themselves to accept charity. Could it be that they don’t view their “suffering” the same way another might so don’t think charity is warranted? Or possibly it is because last time they accepted a gift they were burned and this time choose to forgo the pain? If someone walked up to you on the street today and offered you money to improve your life would you accept it? If not, why? The recipient of charity (whether individual or nation) has his own values, needs and ideals and wouldn’t an exercise of his autonomy look like a rebuff to someone who doesn’t know him well and who probably holds different ideals? Is autonomy valuable or not?Iraq and India aren’t the first, and won’t be the last, to resist the intervention (invasion) of American compassion. Should their exercise of autonomy be honored? While Love is at once free, it also comes at a very great price.

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