"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Well, I went off. I cornered my kids and made them listen to the idiot then gave them a little lecture. In the example I gave, I recalled an issue I'd had with my son at the beginning of the school year. He'd forgotten his homework, called home and begged me to bring it to him. I told him, "This is your *ONE* freebie for the year. I will only do this for you one time, after that, you're on your own. Are you sure you want to use it right now?" He assured me that this assignment was *that* important and I took his homework up to the school for him.
Later that *same* week, he called again in a total panic. He'd forgotten his homework and *this* assignment was *SO* much more important than the last!
I told him, "tough cookies," and hung up. He hasn't forgotten another assignment.
I told the kids that I *did* hurt for him at that moment. I was tempted to help him. But I knew, if I did, that he'd never learn responsibility and I'd be handicapping him for life. I told them that *this* is the difference between the left and right. The left feels compassion for the moment, the right looks down the road and sees that it's sometimes better to allow someone to suffer a little now so they don't suffer forever.
Over and over I've seen this example played out in real life. I see the young woman who's parents never gave her a break and pushed her to be smart and do her best and I see the young woman who had (at least one) parent who enabled her to get away with murder out of a displaced feeling of "compassion". And I see the end results.
NO. Compassion does NOT mean giving and enabling and sheltering people from the natural consequences of their own actions. Compassion allows us to help people who've genuinely been screwed by life or other people, not by themselves.