The first response to inhumanity is shame. The sustained response—resistance.
The way of compassion embraces both compassionate denouncement and compassionate affirmation.
Compassionate denouncement deconstructs life denying, denigrating and destroying wrongdoing, so that it will, thereby, be exposed to universal view for what it is. Compassionate denouncement declares itself free from propaganda.
Compassionate affirmation recognizes, respects and celebrates what is authentic; for authenticity is a bonding in trust; and what is good for life—what protects, what upholds decency and extends dignity. Compassionate affirmation moves ever diligently to be free from dogma.
Compassionate denouncement is a tool and a power to employ against tyranny. Compassionate denouncement is a tool and a power to employ against oppression. Those who aspire to be truly compassionate can never remain indifferent, never remain silent before the terrible “isms” that humiliate and destroy others or their otherness.
At the vital core of the way of compassion is the ardent decency of humility and gratitude; the ardent desire to sing the world as gratitude for life and adoration toward the everyday micro- and mini-miracles of creation.
Non-violent non-cooperation and truth-force; the open recognition of honesty and clarity as practiced and as lived by the Mahatma Gandhi with patience, fortitude and courage; eventually prevails, overcoming political aggression, exploitation, targeting and brutality, and corrects and cures, even sometimes converts the corruptions and criminal techniques of injustice. This begins with resistance, when resistance declares the democratization of recognition as a universal value-necessity.
When soul is awake, when soul is alert, when soul is engaged, an integral person knows when it is time to resist and when it is time for creational communion. When it is indeed time for new commensality to point the way for new patterns of social conduct to emerge and to take hold.
Timing is part of the way of compassion; resistance is an intuitive necessity in the actuals of life, and of the Earth. Each person can thereby ask: what does the gift and the challenge of this time ask of me?
We start out in shame; for our humanity is affronted and offended; we tear up, we blush; we feel the change in heartbeat and feel a shared violation. We start out in shame and move to resistance and through resistance we work to enter the way of compassion, to discover possibilities of expressed vulnerability and conditional mutuality.
Compassionate denouncement draws lines. Compassionate denouncement brings bodies into solidarity. Compassionate affirmation draws circles, draws us into circles, invites us as persons interfacing together to participate in the rounds of reality—to share of ourselves in the processes of liberation.
Should you be told that resistance is a disorder due to discontent, turn about! Ask those who tell to help you make peace. But only a peace that makes real the small details of political, social and biotic justice.
David Sparenberg is a world citizen, environmental & peace advocate & activist, actor, poet-playwright, storyteller, teacher and author.