Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Weapon of Pity

The emotion of pity is often a necessary spur to acts of mercy. Pity drives some people to forgive injuries, and it induces others to display charity to those in distress. Pity, evoked in the right circumstances, is a very noble emotion.
However, pity is very easily abused. For many people need to suffer privation in order to be brought to a better state - and often use others' pity to avoid that privation. Misplaced pity can prevent a good man from acting in a way that would inconvenience someone in the short term yet benefit him in the long term. Pity can become a cloak for good men to avoid responsibility and display cowardice in dealing with their neighbors.
The ability to evoke pity is a weapon in the hands of many emotionally abusive individuals. Those skilled at evoking pity in others often do so to avoid punishment or to make others notice them.
And misplaced pity is a powerful weapon indeed. The husband or wife who chastises his spouse to cover up faults that he (or she) committed, the girlfriend or boyfriend who verbally flogs himself (or herself) in order to garner sympathy from the other, the child who emotionally blackmails his parents into putting off punishment – they all use pity as a weapon to get what they want. 
Many even try to create an attitude of pity in themselves. They seek to make themselves feel better for imaginary injuries, and use that attitude for avoiding responsibility.
All of these individuals use pity as a weapon against others. They attempt to hijack an emotion for their own emotional ends. And in doing so, they seek to remain in their fallen condition.
And often they succeed. For we humans naturally feel sympathy for the sorrows of others. We naturally seek the good of others, and are saddened when others do not experience what is good. We naturally feel pity for the unfortunate - and rightfully so.
If others give us pity when we suffer misfortune, that is a gift we should accept with gratitude. But pity should never be used a weapon. Indeed, we should never seek the emotion of pity from others. We must all seek to rise above our own condition, and not allow ourselves to wallow in self-pity or in the pity of others.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Rules for Posting Comments:
1)All commentary is to be respectful.
2)Foul language/crude commentary is prohibited.
3)Use proper punctuation and capitalization.
4)Keep all posts in understandable English.
5)Refrain from personal/ad hominem attacks.
6) Sarcasm, humor, and witty commentary are welcomed.
All posts that violate these rules will be removed.
And the most important rule:
7) All posts are to reflect a spirit of Christian charity.