“Compassion is the radicalism of our time.” Dalai Lama XIV
It is impossible to deny the sad truth of the above quote. Our world – especially the U.S. – has gotten meaner over the last few decades. The election of 2016 of Trump was the latest chapter of this trend, and one can only hope it is the last.
It is not just Trump. The Republican party seems to have no regard for anyone not part of their tribe. Immigrants are having families torn apart, kids who have no other home are threatened with deportation, people are allowed to suffer and die early due to a lack of health care, wages are kept low so the rich can become richer and workers despair and too often turn to drugs.
Compassion may seem like an odd and unnecessary aspect of government. Certainly many governments exist without it. But would you want to live in a country where the government showed no compassion, or (more likely) limited it to a favored few? If we think the most basic purpose of government as being a force to improve human lives then compassion has to become part of that.
One could argue that showing compassion is a luxury governments cannot afford – that spending time, money and energy on being compassionate takes away from more important government responsibilities. Many Republicans would argue that it takes away from the military. Please, dear reader, think about what that implies.
Trump and Republicans make a lot of noise about being Christian. Perhaps they should take the Bible (Colossians 3:12) to heart:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.