Tuesday, August 10, 2010

P.S. Compassion and Action

I realized I sounded as if I dismissed the actions we take to help one another when I said "compassion isn't chicken-soup kindness."
I didn't mean that. Corporal works of mercy are crucial.

What I meant was that if our helpful actions aren't grounded in our awareness that we all stand in the common muck of being human, our acts can come off as high-handed.
Like noblesse oblige.
You know. Charity.

Most of us don't want to receive charity, we want to exchange love.
Of course, if we're starving to death, we'll take whatever.

But still...
As Saint Vincent de Paul said,
"It is only for the love that we bear them that the poor forgive us our charity to them."

And here, because I've been awfully preachy lately, let me offer you the other Vincent De Paul, discovered when I did an image search:(Dear Lord, How have I ended up with a (small) series of posts about people in their underwear?
I tell ya, the things blogging shows us about ourselves.)


Margaret said...

Odd label sequences thrill me / kill me. ("kill me" in the Holden Caulefield sense of the phrase, of course)

This one is rich:

charity, compassion, underwear


charity, compassion, underwear

(As unforgettable as . . . what was it again?

sugar baby, miyako, charleston gray

Hey, how 'bout:

sugar baby, miyako, underwear

Isn't that how Lolita began? Something like that, anyway.)

charity, compassion, underwear could be one of those tri-property campaign ads in which the orator lowers their voice on the third property for profound emphasis:

"Barack Obama:
charity; compassion;


or, off the top of my head:

"James Kirk:
action; sweat;


I don't know, though; that sounds *slightly* suggestive.

(Your usage of the asterisk is catchy.)

k, thx, bai

Fresca said...

That line up of tags delighted me too.

Did you ever read Mark Simpson on the delights of Kirk? He says Picard is too sanitary ("sweat? me?")--you imagine he would change his underwear every few hours.

But Kirk? Seems to me, in his world, underwear is optional.

Margaret said...

Yes! I did read that delicious thing!
Underwear and shirts - both optional for the Captain.

Jennifer said...

Well, that picture is certainly a corporeal work of mercy... ^-^

But I know what you mean about the difference between compassion and charity, it's all in the attitude and tone, you know? Condescension and patronage can rankle even the most wondrous gift, while a crust of bread given in true compassion is magical.