If we seek to understand each other, isn’t that the work of goodness? Is it good to make compassion something more than a favor granted to those we deem worthy? But how do we understand those who harm us? How do we live with their deeds? Ta-Nehisi Coates started me thinking about how hard it is to do the work of compassion.
One of the people responding to his post directed me to “Call Me By My True Names,” a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh. This verse seems more than appropriate for any search for goodness and compassion. Here’s a bit of it: