Compassion is found in both cultural and political contexts. It is considered an 'emotion in operation' and a feeling that enacts socialism in various ways. It well describes the social interactions between the disadvantaged ordinary citizen commonly referred to as 'sufferer' and the one showing compassion. Usually, the compassionate ones tend to enact a number of their social advantages and privileges to alleviate the pain and suffering of the sufferers. The lowly citizens have the rights that they have been able to achieve politically. The virtue of compassion is undoubtedly significant. It, however, has historically unstable reliance when it comes to offering service to the interests of the less fortunate and oppressed. In the periods of a substantial economic crisis particularly like it is in the present day world, the desires and needs of the most marginalized individuals and the poorest are short shifted regardless of sentiments like this. Prominent economic downturns are presented in the bodies of children with malnutrition and also other members in a society who are vulnerable. This paper aims to understand the role of compassion in undermining political struggles and politically achieved rights. It aims to investigate the conditions under which compassion is brought about and whether compassion can help to establish social transformation.
Politics is all about power, order, and security and therefore politics should always practice compassion. Compassionate politics are necessary and possible to deal with and meet human needs. Compassion can alleviate political struggles and adequately address the efforts of the people in the country. Emotions influence the way that people engage and respond to each other, and underpin the political practices and values. Many people have associated compassion with women stating that compassion has played a role in distracting women from making informed and logical decisions (Berlant, 2004). However, research shows that compassion plays a huge role in understanding each other in society and developing respect and help for human suffering. However, political division in the United States is steadily becoming worrying to many citizens in America, but it is not entirely impossible to bridge this gap as will be discussed in this paper.
Many people believe that political struggles and divisions have become worse in the US. A body of research indicates that conservatives and liberals are divided in terms of consumption of news, ideologies, living places, and interacting with each other. What is even more concerning is the increasing animosity between followers and members of these two parties. Democrats and Republicans hold extremely high negative opinions about each other (Rai, 2002). Americans have gone to the extent of forming relationships and friendships along political lines. For example, Republicans and Democrats may be against their child marrying a supporter of the opposing party.
A deep sense of moral divide underpins the political tensions and struggles in America. Liberals and conservatives attach different attitudes and values to different situations and levels. Liberals often lean towards values such as fairness, equality, protection, and care more than conservatives. Conservatives tend to lean towards values such as patriotism, loyalty, moral purity, and respect for power more than liberals (Pedwell, 2014). To better understand and bridge the gap between these two parties, every citizen no matter the position or the rank needs to embrace compassion.
Compassion is the empathic awareness of the distress of others coupled with a sincere desire to reduce or remove their pain. This value needs to be practiced more especially during this tumultuous political period and human suffering. When people have passion about their political stances, it may become difficult to foster and practice compassion (Porter, 2006). Many times, political views and ideas become more personal and individual desires, and ideologies make it challenging to have compassion towards others or wish to eliminate their pain. This situation, paired with anger, bullying, and hostility pushes empathy and compassion away from the political dialogues.
Compassion as a natural phenomenon gives people the desire to help when they witness physical or emotional pain. People naturally have compassion when they see an amputated veteran being wheeled around, or a homeless child begging for change on the street or an image of a malnourished child living in a war-torn zone. However, when the pain of someone is physically invisible, it becomes hard for others to exercise compassion or empathy (Sparacino, 2018). Invisible pain alleviates the desire to want to offer help to reduce suffering. This lack of compassion is further heightened when the suffering person holds a different political or value ideology that is different or when ideas they hold are perceived to be fundamentally incorrect.
However, compassion should not just be defined in terms of empathizing with and desiring to eliminate the pain of the people who share similar ideas. Instead, compassion is about recognizing the pain of other people and wanting to eliminate or reduce in some way no matter their beliefs and values. A close look at how people act and or speak during the electioneering period, it is clear that both the politicians and the citizens are in a lot of pain (Brennan, 2016). Instead of looking to alleviate this pain that is so obvious the way they would if it was physically visible, many people seek to tear each other down and strike each other with their values and harsh opinions rather than empathizing.
It can be challenging to have compassion when one feels so strongly about the results of an event like the elections. Politics are essential because the emerging winner can have huge impacts on the lives of the people. It is, therefore, no wonder that many people often get intensely invested in their political beliefs. For people to know their ideas and to have the liberty to defend them, is a factor that makes America a great country (Sparacino, 2018). However, one can support their beliefs and still have compassion for others. It is possible for a person to be passionate about something and compassionate.
Unfortunately, this culture is not adequately reflected in the contemporary culture of American politics. Often, the word compassion is used in politics to describe how politicians feel about the ill, mistreated or impoverished. However, this word is never used to describe the people's feelings towards others that hold opposing views or opinions. Hateful, negative language, personal attacks, and ad attacks are perpetrated by powerful and influential people who do not want anything to do with others on the opposing side (Brooks, 2015). Although American citizens have the right to air their views and perceptions about an event or situation, they do so without having even the littlest compassion for another person's ideas.
It is vital to exercise compassion to alleviate political struggles. Having compassion towards people that hold opposing views will help people focus on the flaws of their candidate and the areas that need adjustments. Compassion ensures that political campaigns and adverts are not designed to hurt each other and cause political upheavals. Having compassion will further ensure that Americans use their voices and words to make logical arguments and convince others why our ideas are valid. Compassion can help to ensure that people do not add to the possible pain that others are already experiencing (Mittermaier, 2014). Having compassion for the people who do not subscribe to similar ideas as a person can be difficult, but the rewards for trying hard to attain it are worth every while. Compassion makes political discussions and arguments more pleasant and understood by others and also brings about love and harmony. It elicits a great deal of respect, kindness, and regard for human feelings when one chooses not to be mean and indifferent.
Compassion for those you dislike or disagree with is arduous, but the rewards for putting in the work are incredibly worthwhile. Not only does compassion make arguments and political discussions more pleasant for others, but you also gain a lot of love, kindness, and respect for yourself when you chose compassion over indifference or meanness. Additionally, I've found that compassion generally makes relationships, interactions, and life as a whole more enjoyable.
Denying the part that compassion plays in politics is denying that humans are at the center of how politics work. Emotions are a big part of who human beings are, and so it is essential for the people in governance and politics to be aware of their feelings, those of others, and how both these elements influence the process of decision-making as a whole. Compassion ought to be a requirement for any person who wants to get in to politics (Porter, 2006). Compassion teaches politicians to be courageous and to move towards and not far away from suffering.
Compassion ensures that policies implemented by politicians focus on electing representatives from less privileged backgrounds to ensure that those who are given the positions understand the livelihoods of the people that they govern. Compassion ensures that every policy or decision made by government representatives and officials focus on helping and improving the lives of the people that need help the most (Porter., 2006). Compassion helps to develop policies based on cooperation with other parties and that they do not impact negatively on the lives of upcoming generations.
Similarly, compassion can help serve the interests and politically achieved rights. For example, all American citizens have a right to be treated equally and not be discriminated. This is a right that has always been violated because of issues or racism and prejudice. Often, people are discriminated based on the color of their skin, their ethnicity, or their class. The lack of compassion has intensely eliminated the need for people to recognize the suffering of others. Politicians do not consider the plight of the people (Conklin, A., 2001). For example, many times, women are not considered for legislative seats or useful and decent jobs. Many governments and representatives look down upon people from minority communities.
People from minority communities are living in poverty and governments do not attend to their needs adequately. Compassion can help alleviate these inequities and make people recognize the suffering of others. Compassion can help to identify the areas of a gap and help to ensure that the politically achieved rights of these people are recognized and acted upon (Conklin, 2001). With compassion, government leaders can recognize the plight of women and the need for them to get equal rights in terms of leadership and employment.
Additionally, every citizen has a right to safety and protection. However, many government officials lack compassion, and therefore they do not reinforce or enact effective measures to uphold this right. With compassion, government officials and representatives will ensure that adequate policies, rules, and regulations are implemented to protect and safeguard the American people. Compassion will see to it that crimes are effectively solved and criminals are put behind bars for their misgivings (Shuford, 2017). Compassion will see to it that politicians do not engage in corruption deals to enrich themselves at the expense of the people they are elected to serve.
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