Tuesday, April 17, 2007

compassion, part two

What was a vaguer sense this morning has blossomed.

Following the Virginia Tech shooting, I have heard a lot of people talking about gun control laws. Or expressing sympathy. Or asking why more victims didn't stand up against him. Or speculating that he did it because of his girlfriend, or alternatively, that it was all her fault. Or that he was simply a bitter loner. Or that he wanted the attention.

In "Bowling for Columbine," Maralyn Manson is asked what he would have said to the people at Columbine. His response (roughly) was, "Nothing. Not a damn thing. I would have listened. And that is exactly what nobody did."

To have compassion, we must have empathy. To have empathy, we must be able to listen.

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