“In my training, compassion is regarded as an innate quality of being human, so it is not so much that compassion is absent as it is hidden, distorted or corrupted. These problems can all be remedied.”
“Since the 17th century, human relationships have increasingly been framed in terms of transactions, this for that. Even altruism is within this frame. The transactional frame is the dominate frame now, in every area of life, and life is poorer because of it. There are other forms of relationship, i.e., working together to accomplish something rather than getting something, and the sheer enjoyment of the relationship itself.”
“Your comments remind me of the views of George Lakoff and others, who say that our perceptions are formed by the frames that have been established over time. To change these frames is, indeed, difficult, but that is the only way one can become free.”
Maryanne Slater on Feb 20, 2014 at 10:33:44
“True -- but at least a quarter of the population doesn't have the intellectual maturity to ever get outside their frames. They compartmentalize their thinking so much that they can give to a charity that helps orphans in Africa, but will fear all black teenagers as hoodlums at home. They can condemn Hitler, but espouse the same ideas of racial purity or authoritarian leadership.”
“I've long held the view that conservatives and progressives each have half the answer to the major problems in our society, and both suffer under the delusion that the half they have is the whole answer. This was more true in the '80s and early '90s than it is now, primarily because of the increasing polarization of political discussion (as several of the comments to Paul's blog indicate).
I agree with Paul: most people are caring and sincere in their wish to do the best they can to help. The difference is that Republicans and Democrats come with very different assumptions about the world and very different ways of interpreting their experience. George Lakoff eloquently describes the differences and their consequences in his book "Don't Think of an Elephant".
Years ago, I was active on the AIDS Interfaith Council here in Los Angeles. I was particularly struck by a fundamentalist minister who represented her community on the council. She demonstrated compassion and caring in both word and deed. And she generously told the generally liberal rabbis and priests how to approach fundamentalists for their support in caring for gay people stricken with AIDS.”
hp blogger Paul David Walker on Aug 4, 2010 at 11:10:56