The Strength Of The Fist, The Power Of The Heart

1150 words - 5 pages

Without the ability to confront fears or trials or understand the suffering of others, any man or woman would be fragmented at best. Every human, every warrior, and every humanitarian is built to live with both a great deal of courage and compassion. These unique traits are two sides of the same coin that cannot be overlooked or undervalued.
The ability to embrace people complete with all sorts of strengths, weaknesses, failures, faiths, and fumbles wholeheartedly is essential for establishing a high quality of life in any society. This capacity is known most commonly as compassion. In an environment where people are able to accept themselves and others there is no need to convince or criticize one another. Without compassion, courage has no direction. Without direction, humans are susceptible to the pitfall of their own natural tendencies. Intermittent violence between the Hutu and Tutsi—two tribes in the same state of Rwanda –in the early 1990’s came to a head with the over hundred day genocide of Rwanda’s own people in 1994. Infrequently told stories from the time of the genocide tell of shelter offered to neighbors who were of different tribes who were in danger and of the stubborn will to endure of the families who lost everything they had (pbs.org). Without the ability to put oneself in the shoes of another, the efficacy of one’s ability to lead would be a mockery of direction. Compassion may not be an innate characteristic necessary for survival of the human species, but it is one of those things that are needed to bring quality and purpose to an individual’s survival. “The value of compassion cannot be over-emphasized. Anyone can criticize. It takes a true believer to be compassionate. No greater burden can be borne by an individual than to know no one cares or understands (Stainback).”
At the most quintessential level, one must understand that caring requires strength as well as compassion. Warriors are not warriors solely because of their strength, but because of their ability to put their strength to good purpose. In its simplest form, courage can be defined as doing what has to be done day in and day out and never quitting. Without courage, compassion alone will falter. Non-violence utilized as a tool of resistance or refutation assumes a level of shared senses of ethical understanding. If the oppressor does not recognize the moral-ethical code that is guiding the non-violent resistance, then nothing prevents the oppressor from eliminating the obstacle that is the resistance. John Stuart Mill once wrote,” War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. (Mill 2).” At...

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