We cannot play with the life of peoples and children. One cannot remain indifferent. On the contrary, it is necessary to empathize and recognize the common humanity to which we belong, with its efforts, struggles, and frailties.
“All this touches me, it could have happened here too, even to me.”
Today, in the globalized society that makes pain spectacular but does not pity it, we need to build compassion. To feel the other, to make his sufferings our own, to recognize his face. This is true courage, the courage of compassion, which makes one go beyond the quiet living, beyond the “it does not concern me” and the “it does not belong to me”. In order not to let the lives of peoples be reduced to a game between the powerful.
No, the life of peoples is not a game, it is a serious matter and affects everyone; it cannot be left at the mercy of the interests of a few or prey to sectarian and nationalist passions. It is the war that makes fun of human life. It is violence, it is the tragic and ever-prolific arms trade, which often moves in the shadows, fed by underground rivers of money.
War is a failure of politics and humanity, a shameful surrender, a defeat in the face of the forces of evil. We must stop accepting it with the detached gaze of the news and try to see it through the eyes of the peoples. [Of those] who have lost security, peace, and common coexistence [and have] become victims of destruction, ruins, and wars.Pope Francis
Outrage, anger, pain, surprise, denunciation, or denial: there is a whole range of emotions and reactions to what is shown to us from the Ukraine war front.
Unfortunately, compassion is lacking. It seems to have disappeared from our lives, and it is certainly a bad thing, inhuman behavior. Compassion is a fundamental trait in the existence of every human being, and it is a peculiar trait too.
I have noted that compassion, especially in its radical form, manifests itself as an impulse. This manifestation stands in stark opposition to the underlying premises of the Darwinist theories, which regard the survival instinct as determining human behavior, as well to the Freudian logic of the Pleasure Principle, which refutes any supposedly natural tendency on the part of human beings to act against their own interestsKhen Lampert – Traditions of Compassion: From Religious Duty to Social Activism
We, as humankind, can’t live without compassion (from the Latin cum patior – I suffer with – and from the Greek συμπἀθεια, sym patheia – “sympathy”, feeling emotions with), without the feeling for which we can emotionally perceive the suffering of others wishing to relieve it, a concept that recalls that of empathy from the Greek “εμπαθεια” (empathy, composed of en-, “inside”, and pathos, “affection or sentiment”), the attitude towards others characterized by a commitment to understanding the other, the different from us, the external to us.
Faced with the tragedy of the war, condemnations and distinctions, comparisons and analyzes, anathemas or official defenses rain down on us. Millions of words, petty philosophies that tend to explain or certify, no one knows what.
Whenever we are faced with a conflict, and in recent years we have seen many before this in Ukraine, the debate arises: is war avoidable, or is it an inevitable evil? We discuss the right to defense, we fall into comparing today’s events with historical facts of past centuries, today’s characters with those of yesterday.
We have to read comments and listen to improvised experts who, far from the battlefield, but instead from the comfort of the living room or on some talk show, rattle off advice and propose strategies after the invasion by Russia. Always without a shred of compassion.
Compassion is the feeling that distinguishes the soldier from the executioner, the warrior from the filthy murderer, being human from being inhuman, a beast, worse than a beast, a monster.
It has also been heard over and over again that the war is everyone’s fault, which is like saying that the fault belongs to no one. But faults always have culprits. And they must be atoned for. But above all, compassion must come back into fashion, the feeling that even in the most furious battle prevents the warrior from turning into a demon.
Compassion is the spring that has animated the courageous fighters capable of remaining men despite everything during countless battles in history. The soldiers who kill, rape, and torture civilians are monsters. And those who command them are even more so. Without hiding behind useless comparisons with nefarious ideologies of the past, the executioners lose the dignity of defining themselves as human beings.
Wars are probably unavoidable. But the rules, in the first place those that make a man a being worthy of honor, can and must be taught, imposed, and above all enforced. The guilty must pay for their sins, they must be relentlessly punished, and it must be clear and certain that they will be.
The Greatest Victory Is That Which Requires No Battle.Sun Tzu – Art Of War
Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, and military strategist, and not certainly a pacifist. In Bushido, “the way of the warrior”, a moral code concerning samurai’s (members of the Japanese warrior caste) attitudes, behavior, and lifestyle, we read that the samurai has strength and power and must use them for the common good. Samurai’s values are honor, reckless bravery, and selflessness. For him, “compassion” means knowing how to help one’s fellow man on every occasion, especially the helpless, women, and children. The warrior does not need to behave cruelly to show his strength, he is also kind to enemies. Similar rules have also characterized Western cavalry for centuries.
Without a powerful effort to educate young people about profound ideals and the pride of respecting the rules even at the cost of sacrifices, we will continue to listen to the useless rhetoric that quickly buries the victims and forgets the perpetrators.