Dear Poseidon, or: I want to reject compassion

Dear Poseidon,

Compassion has been a cornerstone of o/Our relationship since the very first day w/We met and You held compassion for me. You planted a seed of compassion for others within me, though it would be years and years before that would sprout. Awareness, You stress — take in all sides, view the big picture, strive to understand the full story, and then, compassion.

Compassion isn’t complacency. It’s not being a doormat. It’s not turn the other cheek while atrocious things are done to you. Sometimes compassion is action, and sometimes its hard action, but ideally with personal desires removed — justice versus revenge, even when the outcome is the same. It’s why I can say I strive toward being compassionate, and still think the death penalty is sometimes necessary, or at least, more desirable, more proper than letting people continue to live. Though, that’s beginning to slip, these days . . .

I don’t want to be compassionate right now, my Lord. Not in my heart, not in my thoughts, not in my words. I don’t want to have to pause and think about those others. I don’t want to stop and think about what a world must be like to drive others to such hatred and violence. I believe that hatred and violence are things nutured, are taught, are borne of desperation and fear. I don’t want to think about people who hold different world views that I do, and how they can hate ‘others’ and still love their families, how they can still honor their parents and care for their children. I don’t want to think about how we are all human, and how instincts drive us more than we admit.

Neither do I want to think about the shaming that’s going around, on social media, about not paying enough attention to all of the current affairs that warrant attention. I don’t want to be compassionate toward the people who want to use shame to give people grief about being upset about X but not about Y.  I don’t want to have compassion for people who can’t understand that everything is complex, and that we can’t all of us know about all of the things, and that shame is not necessarily the best motivator to get us to become engaged.

I’m afraid for others right now, Poseidon, and I don’t want compassion. I don’t want to engage in compassion. I want my fear to be soothed, and I’m animal enough that I want my fear to be soothed by the destruction or at least the disempowerment of those others. I’m animal enough that, when the news tells me that France, in cooperation with others, has bombed a training region of Daesch’s, I cheer, and I hope for their destruction.

I don’t want to think about the people who are trapped in the region with them, who are innocent and dying. I don’t want to think about others, elsewhere. I don’t want this call to compassion. I don’t want this stress on awareness. I do not want it at all.

You provide no answers; You simply refuse to allow me to set this down. For every time I think, “they need to be destroyed, they cannot be allowed to continue,” You bring me back to compassion. In these moments I want Angry Poseidon, Petulant Poseidon. I want the Poseidon who they say destroyed cities, leveled populaces with one angry shake of the land. I want tidal waves and divine retribution, damn it. I want a clear sign that says We Are Right and Good and Just, and They Are Evil Born — except evil is taught, and You will not let me forget that. You hold still, and You council education, and prayers, and healing, and awareness, and always, unfailingly, compassion. You council distance from gossip and speculation. You council compassion. Always, always compassion.

Compassion is exhausting and undesirable, and still You council it. You have the reputation that You have, and still You urge me in this particular way, so I must listen. I will listen. But I don’t want this compassion right now. I thought You should know.

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10 thoughts on “Dear Poseidon, or: I want to reject compassion

  1. Reblogged this on Loki's Bruid and commented:
    I haven’t had words really to express my horror over Paris, over the Black churches still being burned and the media just ignoring it, over the Mizzou students being attacked by racists, by terrorism in Beirut, by abused refugees. Jo sums it up very well.

  2. I think you can still have compassion for those trapped in the area with the evildoers and wish personal destruction on the evil ones. Targeted retribution, individual destruction, pinpointed aggression – aren’t the deities supposed to be able to do that? Isn’t that what the Wild Hunt is? You pity a mad dog but you kill it despite your pity. If compassion leads you to passively lie down your life what have you achieved except encouragement of the rabid? Those who do these deeds may deserve pity but we also must take into account those who are their victims. Nothing that a few localized quakes can’t help fix!

  3. Pingback: Dear Poseidon, or: I want to reject compassion | A Matter of Faith

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