Eugi’s Weekly Prompt-Compassion- Nov. 25, 2021

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Father And Son Talk About Manhood

“It called compassion son… it is caring about the misfortune of others.”

“I felt really bad when Tanner’s dog died and I cried too. Is that compassion?”

“Exactly son. Compassion is a feeling. And what you do with that feeling is called character. Not everyone has good character, nor do they use their feelings in a ‘good’ way. They think the feeling itself is a virtue but the virtuous person is the one whose actions are just and consistent. When you’re truly compassionate, you do not withhold your kindness from people you don’t like. How about Benny? He’s picked on you and even stolen from you, would you feel bad if his dog died?”

[Long pause] “Well, yeah. It would be just as sad for him. I don’t think he’d let me help to bury him, though, like Tanner did. “

“Well that would be up to him. But offering to help would be the virtuous thing to do whether he accepted or not.”

“I saw a protest on TV last week, Dad. Some people were walking and waving signs THEN others started burning buildings and cars and beating up each other! I felt compassion for those peaceful people, and the people losing their businesses, but I didn’t feel compassion for the others. I didn’t like them! Am I bad for feeling that way?”

“Not at all. I was angry too. There’s a difference between people who “feel wronged” and those who “do wrong”. Doing wrong is not how people, of good character, express themselves. Some people use something good, like a protest, for an excused opportunity to do wrong. They’re ‘bad guys’. You are never expected to condone what bad guys do. Yet, a compassionate person doesn’t want evil things to happen to them. Even when people ‘ask for trouble’ we don’t wish them ill. BUT, it is virtuous to protect the ‘peaceful’ from the ‘bad guys’ any way we can. Allowing people’s homes, and businesses to be destroyed or allowing ‘bad guys’ to harm or kill others, is unconscionable. “

“Is another word for unconscionable, immoral? “

“Yep and men of character should help.”

” What if the bad guys try to hurt me while I’m helping out the others?”

“Then you have the right to defend yourself. It’s part of the law. It’s written in our Constitution. We all have a God given right to life, liberty, and property.”

“I don’t want to hurt people Dad!”

“I know son. It isn’t something anyone with good character wants to do. But ‘bad guys’ don’t often care about who they hurt. A man has to decide who they are if he’s threatened. Your life is precious and must be defended when you’ve exhausted every chance to reason with them or get away. If you end up hurting an attacker, it’ll be hard to live with but it is just. In a perfect world, this would never happen… but guess what?”

“It’s not a perfect world, Dad, and bad guys will always be a part of things.”

“I love you son. Be a ‘good guy’, always. Our world, our country, and our family counts on them.”

“I think I’ll be a policeman one day. Protecting people is a great way to show compassion AND to be a ‘good guy’.

“THAT would make me very proud, son.”

War on Punks

English: Suspect in a possible hate crime in V...
English: Suspect in a possible hate crime in Vancouver . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The link above is to the recent news article about the tragic killing of an Australian young man by some “punks” who were reportedly bored. The news media has offered many reasons for this atrocity. To name a few:

  • The US gun culture…
  • A racial hate crime…
  • Violence inspired by game playing…

I believe that I stumbled upon the real deeper cause when I commented in a reaction to this horror … “We need a “war on punks”!”
A punk, in my mind, is a young male who is striving for manhood by means of intimidation and violence.
Sadly, and dangerously, our society has lost the traditional definition of manhood.
Some of the reasons are economic but many stem from a “watering down” of the roles men play. Confused? So are our sons.
Back in the day, men were the providers of protection and the essentials for family survival. Since caveman times, the males had a clear role and spent (testosterone inspired) energy to fill that position.
Enter the women’s movement, government assistance, modern conveniences, absentee fathers and unemployment and you have idle time in the hands of males without direction.
Remember, to every action comes an equal and opposite reaction?
The women’s movement was a GOOD thing. This is not a puritanical conservative documentary, in the least. It is, however, a thoughtful wondering about the male experience in an attempt to shed light on a grave predicament in our culture.
“What makes a man?”
Punks seem to believe it is an adrenaline rush inspired by a dangerous act.
How did that happen?

First, we have taken the pointed scissors away from kids. That’s right. This cushioned, ultra-safety oriented, society has had a hand in making boys into sissies. Their confidence and male bravado has no inspiration.
I asked a 10-year-old to help me with lawn mowing, the other day. He said he’d never been asked. There must be a warning label, somewhere, which claims that my suggestion was illegal! (ATVs have labels too. “No one under twelve can operate them.” Funny though, the youth-sized ones are generally too small for most twelve-year-olds.)

Secondly, fatherhood is a duty not a choice. Modern society has lost sight of that in a nutshell. Boys need quality men to show them how to become men of quality.

Thirdly, Idle time and video game playing are not allowing for physical exertion. Scientifically, the lack of physical exertion MUST have an adverse effect upon testosterone fueled adolescents! I’m sure there is a study somewhere which would verify that adrenaline is a necessary drug in a young man’s life.

There must be a way to counteract the poisonous conditions of our sons’ environments.
Sports teams are one way. But many have not the means, nor interest, to take part in sports.
May I suggest, that in dealing with boys who have been expelled from or have dropped out of school, who have had scrapes with the police or are members of gangs, that we seriously entertain a type of boot camp. (Yes, those who have no pre-existing  disability, only.)
Of course, the boot camp would be the bottom line but they could be exempt from going if they entered a mentor program or volunteered in community service opportunities.

NOW, the race card would be thrown at this idea. The chances are, the black community would be in high attendance. (Unemployment and absentee fathers the catalyst.) BUT, instead of thinking this was an effort to marginalize minorities…why wouldn’t we consider it helping where the help is most needed?

These are just infant ideas for a possible cause and solution for a deep problem that just won’t be going away. What do you think?