What is Compassion? – Chapter Three in the Emotional Chronicles

Bobblehead DollI admit October has been a hit-and-miss month, and I apologize.  I am not sure why, but I recommit to doing a better job.  Thank you for your patience, dear reader.  Though I haven’t been sitting on my thumbs, I was invited to speak at a disability event and have been furiously writing for that.  I speak on 27 October 2021 at 0600 EST.  While the event is not open to the public, I plan to post my comments online after the event, suitably altered to hide the event and employer for contractual reasons.

Due mainly to the method of my upbringing, I struggle with conceptualizing terms like love, charity, compassion, feelings, and emotions.  I fully understand anger, hate, and rage, but the rest I am a pure novice at best, and at worst, wholly ignorant.  I read the texts, studied the books, watched films and lectures, been to psychiatrists and psychologists, and much more.  My wife is very patient with me on this topic; my friends tend to tease me gently when they trip across my ignorance on a topic.  My enemies know my shortcomings well but cannot use emotions to thwart me, for emotions just don’t work on me.Angry Grizzly Bear

However, I am not a natural people person.  I see someone crying, and I have no clue what to do if there is no visible injury.  I know problem resolution, crisis management and can act well in all types of situations, but when it comes to soft skills and “playing well with others,” guess what subject I have consistently failed?  Believe me; I have the K-12 report cards to prove my inability, as well as many a note sent home!

What is Compassion?

When the gushy parts in movies come along, I line up for the popcorn and soda machines.  I know I am not alone; sometimes, there must be 20 other people, not just men, standing out there making purchases and visiting the bathrooms.  I know I am a people watcher, so I can deduce there are more people than I who struggle with this concept.  Let’s discuss; maybe we can learn something and not be so uncomfortable.

I find the etymology of a word tends to bring enlightenment; the definition of compassion includes the following gem, deep awareness of other people’s suffering accompanied by a deep desire to relieve that suffering.  “Eyes that see and a heart that feels” is a saying the comes to mind to describe compassion as a noun.  However, as a verb, compassion means to pity, and pity as a verb is to reflect regret, sympathy, or sorrow with another person.  A word of warning, sympathy is very closely related to and often concealed by empathy. Where one is only dangerous to oneself when taken to extremes, the other is dangerous to all whenever practiced.

What is Empathy?

Sympathy v Empathy v ApathyEmpathy is all about acting like you understand another person’s emotions and you have a personal desire to share those emotions.  Empathy is fake; empathy is a choice one exercises in the attempt to control a person or situation through emotion.  Being empathetic is a skill set learned as a manner of defense or, for the more nefarious, to control others.  Empathy is nothing more than faking concern.  By encouraging empathy, a person with authority is looking to steal control over enough people to contain a group through that group’s emotional connections.  By choosing to be empathetic, control over the conscious emotional choices is given to someone else for momentary social gains.  Shift the social environment even slightly, and empathy becomes foolish.  Still, people will continue to look for something to emote about, even after being caught feeling ridiculous about being empathetic for social gain.

What is Sympathy?

Sympathy is a process of coming to a common feeling in a social setting or group.  The emotional pathway is journeyed by people or groups to feel the same emotions for someone else’s emotional state.  Sympathy is a most dangerous emotional tool, not for the one experiencing the sorrow or misfortune, but for those who jump in with the person feeling the sadness or experiencing adversity.  Understand, the sympathetic person attracts other sympathetic people, like moths to a flame or lemmings to a cliff.  I have met people in my travels who were so sympathetic with another person that they thought they had contracted cancer, become pregnant, or had an addiction to dangerous drugs.

Historical Etymology of Compassion

The following is quoted from the Online Etymological Dictionary to satisfy my inner nerd and explore the etymology further, and the link is provided above.  Latin compassio is an ecclesiastical loan-translation of Greek sympatheia.  Sometimes in Middle English, it meant a literal sharing of affliction or suffering with another.  An Old English loan-translation of compassion was efenðrowung.  “Com” word-forming element usually meaning “with, together,” from Latin com, archaic form of classical Latin cum “together, together with, in combination,” from PIE *kom– “besides, near, by, with” (compare Old English ge-, German ge-). The prefix in Latin sometimes was used as an intensive.  “Passion” c. 1200, “the sufferings of Christ on the Cross; the death of Christ,” from Old French passion “Christ’s passion, physical suffering” (10c.), from Late Latin passionem (nominative passio) “suffering, enduring,” from the past-participle stem of Latin pati “to endure, undergo, experience,” a word of uncertain origin. The notion is “that which must be endured.”

Wwwe-Buddhism Com if Your Compassion Does Not Include ...To the atheists, just because Jesus Christ is mentioned does not make something a religious discussion.  I find it interesting that passion, passio, is directly related to enduring and suffering of physical experiences of Jesus Christ.  Does this mean that a compassionate person is reflecting attributes of Jesus Christ?  If so, does this mean mortal beings can acquire godly attributes and still be mortals?  If not, to what should mortals aspire?

Along the vein of etymology, feeding my inner nerd, and discovering insight into compassion, I went looking for actions that reflect compassion, adjectives describing compassion.  The foremost adjective for compassion is compassionate; how very intriguing.  You look for concrete ways to act in a manner of compassion, and you are told to be compassionate; doesn’t this form a logic circle and a paradox?COMPASSION Is My STRENGTH Not a Sign of Weakness Dr Ronnie ...

Remember, a paradox includes two seemingly opposite points, which are opposites on the first reflection but, on further consideration, are more closely related than opposing.  In considering compassion and compassionate, we find the etymology important to understanding the relationship, physical suffering endured and experienced for others, or on another’s behalf.  According to the New Testament and other religious texts, we find this is the recorded mission of Jesus Christ.  IN the definition of compassion, we find mortals can possess a deep awareness of other people’s suffering and choose to have the awareness be accompanied by a deep desire to relieve that suffering.  But, what if the person with the awareness and desire does not have the ability; what do they do?  Are they less compassionate?  Do they somehow become reduced, heartless, uncaring, or judged for not giving when they do not have?

The answers from the different religions are fascinating on this topic, and if you belong to an organized religion, please feel free to discuss this topic with your Rabbi, Minister, Father, Preacher, Bishop, etc., Atheists, feel free to discuss this topic below and with your friends.  Those in less organized and non-standard religions do what I do, the absolute best you can, and leave the rest in the hands of people more capable.

Compassion Article and Quotes - Funny Stuff, Inspirational ...However, we still return to the core root of compassion; what is it?  From this point forward, I am going to express my limited knowledge and informed opinion.  I could be as wrong eating yellow snow in January, but here goes.

Compassion is being cognizant of the people around you.  See someone with their arms full; rush to open a door.  Offer a hand; better still, find a cart and help them fill the cart.  It’s raining, hold an umbrella—Pet a dog.  Sit down beside a stranger and listen.  See a puddle while driving, slow down, and drive throw without splashing the bus stop where someone is waiting for a bus.  See a sign asking for help, give without judgment; does it really matter what they will do with your contribution?  Say please.  Say thank you!  Say you’re welcome.  Manners matter.Compassion is the path... | Favorite movie quotes, Star ...

Modesty in speech, clothing, and behavior matters.  A friend of mine was fond of the following, saying, “Everyone can do something.  Pitch in!”  As a disabled person, I miss being part of that mentality.  I miss being able to “pitch in.”  Society tells me to stay away, we do not need you, “You’re disabled.”  See someone left out; find a way to include them.

If you question why you are doing something, keep doing it until the questions go away.  Never fear a question; fear not acting on something you feel is the right thing to do.  Want to see society change?  Start the change you want to see by exemplifying that change.  I am still not totally sure what compassion is; I know I want to help people.  I know my resources are limited, but my desire is great.  Let’s do something compassionate; if I understand compassion properly, let’s encourage one person today.  Even if that person is just you, be more encouraging to others.  Society needs more encouragement, needs more smiles, needs more humanity.

Father Mulcahy 2By the way, did you catch the news?  A huge cheese factory explosion occurred in France; da Brie is everywhere.  A large multinational response is underway.  The Kaiser is rolling Hamburgers, and the Danes sent fresh pastries.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Wanted A Leader – The Leader’s Job Description

cropped-snow-leopard.jpgThe best job descriptions address the common questions of Who, What, When, Where, and How.  The common question ‘Why’ is excluded because it remains self-evident, there is a “something” desired from the job, or the job would not be considered worthwhile.  Since value and rewards are the beholder’s sole facets, ‘Why’ has been excluded as superfluous.  The sum of these points and positions is derived, deduced, and selected from the following resources, and this list is not all-inclusive, Avolio (2008), Boylan (2005), Brady (2005), Carpenter (1868), Chaleff (2003), Lundin (2000), Costa (2008), Hamlin (2008), Hinckley (2000), Oyinlade (2006), Morrow (1935), Sandburg (1926), Wren (1995), and Yukl (2006).

Wanted: a Leader

Literary FiendThe successful leader is morally obligated to embrace loyal opposition.  Loyal opposition is found in those following, taking and giving counsel and guidance to improve plans, implement ideas, and garner the individual buy-in from free agents.  Loyal opposition ensures that integrity, responsibility, and accountability are not lost or forgotten.  The leader is a teacher, and a teacher is a leader.  The cycle for learning and teaching does not become lost or less significant as rank is increased.  The inverse occurs. The greater the position, the higher the responsibility to remain engaged in the learning/teaching cycle.  All Applicants must have the following characteristics:

      • Drive and Determination – This is required as the task is difficult, the work often arduous, and the pay is never sufficient.
      • Education and Experience – Knowledge is good, but a continued thirst for learning must supersede past educational experiences. Experience in applying education is critical.  Without experience in application, academic success is not enough to obtain this position.
      • Willingness to sacrifice – As a leader, the followers need to be trained and supported; this requires a considerable measure of sacrifice in time, resource allocation and demands innovation in thinking and flexibility in approach.
      • The power to delegate – A leader does not have enough time to meet all their responsibilities; if a leader cannot delegate, oversee, and inspire others to action, that leader cannot achieve success and is not a leader but a manager.
      • Willing to follow without sacrificing the need to lead – Leaders can never sever the ties to being a follower, but the leader must act to lead. Above all else, leadership requires balancing between being a follower and leading well.
      • The ability to exude a ‘Quiet Confidence’ – Knowing you know what to do, have the ability to find the answers, and still meet achievement goals is required to inspire confidence and determination in others.

Charismatic people need not apply.  Those possessing ‘Chutzpah’ are always welcome.  Charisma is a potent drug and, when combined with the power of leadership, tends to lend itself to abusing followers.  People possessing ‘Chutzpah,’ e.g., having the backbone to make a stand and remaining standing long after others consider quitting, are always in demand.  Determined ‘Chutzpah’ will be the order of the day to make a change, lead in flux, and drive the change in others while putting followers at ease, delivering praise, and inspiring others to achieve.

quote-mans-inhumanityThe ideal candidate possesses a working and living knowledge of history, politics, sales, marketing, customer service, and a devotion to seeing others succeed.  The ideal candidate must be willing to be an example and remain engaged mentally to the tasks of leadership.  Other qualities an ideal candidate would possess include:

      • Appetite
      • Passion
      • Honesty
      • Forthrightness
      • Morals
      • Ethics
      • Motivation
      • Imagination
      • Understanding of the difference between monitoring and overbearing
      • Emotionally stable
      • Enthusiasm for learning and living

To apply, follow current leaders well, be engaged, be positive, and ask questions.  Shortly leadership positions will develop to begin the leadership training process.  Never forget, being a good follower remains key to being a good leader!  While awaiting your opportunity to become a leader, increase your literacy in general, including fiscal literacy.  Be the best follower possible, even if being a good follower requires you to stand apart from your peers.  Be willing to stand for principles, morals, and ethics without budging or giving way in the face of adversity or temptation.

quote-mans-inhumanity-2Learn that a good leader is a teacher, and a good teacher is a leader, even if all they do is follow well.  Delegation requires teaching; teaching requires knowing and using knowledge to gain experience; hence, volunteer, ask for additional jobs, take on assignments, and open your mouth to offer advice and suggestions.  A good follower and the best leaders speak up, speak out, and reflectively listen to gain mutual understanding in all they do.  Never allow peer pressure to silence you!

References

Avolio, B. J., & Yammarino, F. J. (2008). Transformational and charismatic leadership: The road ahead. Vol 2. Bingley, United Kingdom: JAI Press – Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Boylan, Bob (1995). Get Everyone in Your Boat Rowing in the Same Direction. New York, New York: Barnes & Noble.

Brady, C., & Woodward, O. (2005). Launching a leadership revolution: Mastering the five levels of influence. New York, NY: Business Plus – Hachette Book Group.

Carpenter, F. B. (1868). The inner life of abraham lincoln: Six months at the white house. New York, NY: Hurd and Houghton.

Chaleff, I. (2003). Leader follower dynamics. Innovative leader, 12(8), Retrieved from http://www.winstonbrill.com/bril001/html/article_index/articles/551-600/article582_body.html

Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (2008). Learning and leading with habits of mind: 16 essential characteristics for success. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/108008/chapters/describing-the-habits-of-mind.aspx

Hamlin, R. G., & Sawyer, J. (2007). Developing effective leadership behaviors: The value of evidence-based management. Business Leadership Review, IV(IV), 1-16. Retrieved from www.mbaworld.com/blr-archive/scholarly/5/index.pdf

Hinckley, G. B. (2000). Standing for something: 10 neglected virtues that will heal our hearts and homes. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

Lundin, S. C., H. Paul, and J. Christensen. Fish!, a remarkable way to boost morale and improve results. Hyperion Books, 2000. Print.

Morrow, H. (1935). Great captain: The lincoln trilogy. New York, NY: William Morrow and Company.

Oyinlade, A. (2006). A method of assessing leadership effectiveness: Introducing the essential behavioral leadership qualities approach. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 19(1), 25.

Sandburg, C. (1926). Abraham lincoln: The prairie years. New York, NY: Blue Ribbon Books.

Wren, J. T. (1995). The leader’s companion: Insights on leadership through the ages. New York, NY: The Free Press.

Yukl, G. (2006). Leadership in Organizations. 6th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

© Copyright 2021 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.
All rights reserved.

NO MORE BS: Do you have a soul?

Good TimberWhen I ask if you have a soul, I will not discuss philosophy, religion, or modernism.  I am not caring about psychology topics as much as a teacher’s actual role in a classroom.  Sensory gratification is a terrible disease plaguing society in ever more significant amounts since the 1960s.  Free sex, free education, action without consequence, unrestrained debt, drugs to get high, drugs to come down off the high safely, want something take it, steal it, buy it, all these sensory gratifications, and more, are linked to individual appetite.  An appetite that is never sated.  Leading to the questions, what happened, and where did we learn unrestrained appetite?

What happened?

The answer is embodied in the saying that yesterday’s school philosophies became today’s governmental actions.  Education has proclaimed the pernicious idea that a human can be programmed with sensory inducements, like a fish, a dog, a cat, a chicken, etc., and “educated” to be nothing but a social animal, devoid of anything but unrestrained sensory desires.  History has revealed the origin of education’s pernicious idea lies with Wilhelm Wundt.

Detective 2Paulo Lionni. “The Leipzig Connection” offers the following as the aim of Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920), the “Father of Modern Psychology.” “…For the emergence of a society more and more blatantly devoted to the gratification of sensory desires at the expense of responsibility and achievement.”  If this phrase does not hold the fullest description of society’s problems, all societies worldwide, I will eat my hat.

Lionni went further and detailed that, “Wundt asserted man is devoid of spirit and self-determinism.”  Meaning that man, which includes women, has no eternal spark, no divinity, no individualism, and lacks the ability to choose the best growth path.  Man can be reduced from a noble spirit in a temporal body to an appetite that can be artificially triggered by electrical connections.  Would it surprise anyone to know that Pavlov, the guy who treated dogs to electric shocks to get them salivating when they hear a bell, and Skinner, the guy who conducted box training for conditioned responses, both went to Wundt for learning and training?

Conditioned responses are not, in and of themselves, bad or undesirable.  As a firefighter, conditioned responses have saved my life, have improved my response times, and have kept my fire teams alive.  However, as the sole education method for government education in K-12 training, conditioned responses, also known as sensory gratification, have created severe social issues that are killing potential, ruining lives, and robbing freedom and liberty.

Where did we learn unrestrained appetite?

Duty 3There are two schools of thought about education; these schools of thought are defined by their definitions of the term “education.”  Education is a concept dating back to the Latin root of the word, Eductus, “to bring out, lead forth,” from E, “out of,” + Ducere, “lead.”  Hence, “to develop the faculties and powers of another by teaching, instruction, or schooling.”

School 1:

“Originally, education meant the drawing out of a person’s innate talents and abilities by imparting the knowledge of languages, scientific reasoning, history, literature, rhetoric, etc., —the channels through which those abilities would flourish and serve.”

School 2:

Education is “… the result of modifiability in the paths of neural conduction. Explanations of even such forms of learning as abstraction and generalization demand of the neurones only growth, excitability, conductivity, and modifiability. The mind is the connection system of man; and learning is the process of connecting. The situation-response formula is adequate to cover learning of any sort, and the influential factors in learning are readiness of the neurones, sequence in time.”

Andragogy - LEARNUntil the 1930s, America and most of the world used education as represented as “School 1,” described above.  Students were led to bring forth talents and abilities through the knowledge imparted by a teacher.  Between 1930 and 1960, both schools of thought were competing for dominance, and “progressive schools” were all about socializing and sensory gratification.  By 1960, the domination of School 2 thinking had overtaken the majority of educational establishments.  Removing the individuality and replacing the individual with “the gratification of sensory desires at the expense of responsibility and achievement.”

What was the result of School 2 methodologies?

Detective 4Dyslexia was invented to cover those students who struggled.  Ritalin was introduced to control those whose sensory inputs were not in line with what was being taught was acceptable behavior. Student’s potential was measured by race and poverty and not upon individual effort, achievement, and development.  Functional illiteracy became the standard for graduating from High School to have a ready-made population of drones for the workforce.  The powers supplying the sensory inputs into the population rose to dominate government, media, technology, and much more.  Suicide rates climbed.  Depression rates climbed.  Mental diseases exploded as a means of excusing and separating the population.  Debt at all levels, household, city/town, county, state, Federal, credit card, school loans, etc., exploded to the insane levels witnessed today.  Single-parenthood became desirable.  Sex without consequences, abortion on demand, and so much more became socially permissible, accepted, and cheered.

Where we are now!

This brings us to 2021; education is now all “School 2” thinking. The vast majority of workers are functionally illiterate, and the government is stealing freedom and liberty through a “health emergency.”  As long as the population’s senses are being filled, the powers in charge can do whatever they want; including stealing an election, robbing unborn children of freedom through debt captivity, and abusing the electorate at will (California, New York, Oregon, New Mexico, and Michigan’s Governors) and robbing the Social Security Fund to pay for the pleasures of today, with no thought of the consequences tomorrow.

RememberDecember 2020, I began reviewing the outstanding accomplishments witnessed in the last century, and a question percolated, “Where are the new great accomplishments?”  Consider the “Big Historical Moments” of the 1900s.  We have the automobile instead of the horse-drawn carriage.  We have space flight, trans-continental flight.  We have all these technological advances.  Humans witnessed so much growth from 1900-1999, but in the first two decades of the new century, we appear to have come to a plateau and lost our way.  In delving deeper into this question, School 1 and School 2 philosophies’ discovery is the driving factor in why we appear to have plateaued in making discoveries, pushing boundaries, and driving innovation forward.

Maybe, plateaued is the wrong way to describe the advances witnessed from 2000-2020.  I read almost weekly about new discoveries in science and medicine, but to read these advances, I have to dig through media blaring about someone’s clothes, hair, sexual orientation, etc.  The headlines cheering Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart’s flights, and more were the talk of the town; newspapers the world over celebrated these achievements.  Now, new advances and achievements have to compete with political bloviations, smoke and mirror editorials, and envy has become the topic of discussion and is celebrated.  All because too many generations have been reduced to animals by School 2 methodologies.

Leading the issue back to the initial question, “Do you have a soul?”  If so, then School 2 education is abhorrent, and mighty change is immediately required to correct the problems.  If not, then School 1 education and the mighty thinking and doing of the 1900s is lost forever.  Are you a social animal that is all unrestrained appetite for whatever power that provides you the most sensory gratification, or are you an eternal being, in a temporal existence, willing to shoulder accountability for the blessings of growth, freedom, liberty, and independence?

LinkedIn ImageI know my answer, and I strive every day to learn, change, grow, and control my passions and other sensory-based appetites in an effort to develop.  “Do you have a soul?”

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.