Many years ago a comedian during his routine at a Hazelden Alumni event, said something that stuck with me. His name is...Mark (Lundgren? darn, I forgot his last name, ugh). Anyway, he said, "Truth without compassion is cruelty."
I care about people and want love and forgiveness over anger. Sure, I hope my premise and conclusion are connected when I present them, but no one has to agree.
I learned in Parliamentary Procedure and logic class in a public speaking college course as well as in recovery, to place principle above personalities. It's about the argument, not the man. We get trained by the media to attack a central figure, a Bad Guy, to undermine ideas or schools of thought. In truth, the bad guy can believe something good, but if we are lost in anger, we only see the person and suspect the ideas he or she presents. Being honest, open, and willing to learn means we cast aside our differences and simply hear the case like a lawyer or judge. We suspend our judgment and just weigh the issues on their merits. Suspending our beliefs is something taught in many disciplines, but theater is a big one.
Anyway, they say people should never talk about religion or politics, or it could end up ugly. Well, putting our big boy or girl pants on requires temperance when hearing things we disagree with. Logic is something that can help a person stay objective when weighing out the issues. Yes, religion and politics. People are using faulty syllogisms, ad hominem arguments (Clinton or Trump is the problem, Islam or Christianity) and never quite reach the baby when dumping out the bathwater. I am no master of logic and am frequently corrected by people with much more precise thinking than me. But staying calm under such pressure keeps me from losing friends and losing my cool in a temper tantrum.
I remember when I worked in a treatment center that they say sometimes people "intellectualize their feeling." It's illogical to refer to my contentions as 'intellectualizing,' which is a form of ad hominem, too, unless of course, I'm being manipulative. My remedy for manipulation is to admit when I'm wrong promptly and to stay in the habit of being transparent.
Objectivity and subjectivity both have their place. A World Chess Champion Botvinnik once taught, "Play the board, not the man." OK, maybe my context doesn't align with the facts as others perceive them to. But my move is my move, and that's it. I play to play, not to win, so if I "lose," I'm OK. But presenting a conclusion (checkmate) as a premise (a move not leading to checkmate) doesn't increase one's rating. Wherever I go, whether playing an opponent in chess or working in a service based capacity, I'm really just trying to create pockets of compassion where I am able. I'm connecting rather than separating.
Being the more loving one starts with me, and I don't have to be right or wrong to be loyal.
The world is addicted to judgment. I value friendship over anger any day, so I've learned to forgive regardless of the temperature of my heart.
Bringing everyone together is my goal, but not to make anyone agree. I might not agree with you, but I will defend your right to speak your opinion. If I qualify as a patriot, it's because of that. People fought and died to protect this primary tenant.
I could never be elected to office because people would point at my past and lambast who I am with what I was. I am totally clueless on how to bring more love to the world successfully, but I can at least try to do it with my friends.
I fall short of what I want to be every day, but I learned over time that if your human, you're crazy. It's both our beauty and our ugliness. But you know the saying, it ain't illegal to be crazy. It's only unlawful to act crazy.
In Ancient Greece, at the height of their corruption, they were also at the height of their philosophical achievements. The FREEDOM to express ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING without judgment allowed for the Greatest Good. We need to give each other a break. That's my underlying context. The secret to a successful marriage, a woman, married for over 50 years said, was to "never take anything personally." My best ideas have always come from other people. Listening with compassion is to love oneself enough to forgive others, which sets the stage for change. I try to love my enemies and pray for those who despise me. I do a horse shit job at it sometimes, but I really do try.
But I like pie, kids, and dogs (though I'm a cat person), so I ain't all bad. W.C. Fields venue.