I am not allowed to care about the death of Cecil the lion unless I have already made it clear that I care more about aborted babies or police brutality or the death penalty.
Some don’t want me to say that #blacklivesmatter unless I also say #alllivesmatter.
We are not supposed to celebrate Caitlyn Jenner’s courage because soldiers (or someone else) are more courageous.
Etc., etc., ad nauseam.
How is it that all of a sudden compassion, caring and courage have all become competitive sports? Something to be won at the expense of others? Has it come to this? Are all our best qualities now just another thing to use against one another? Is empathy about the “right” things, people and situations now just a way to say “I WIN!”. How sad.
Perhaps, just perhaps, courage, empathy, compassion and the rest of our virtues are not a competition at all. Perhaps, like love, they are not an apple pie with only so many slices to go around. Perhaps, as we voice our care and concern, our admiration and respect, these things do not diminish but rather multiply. Maybe we could all try to recognize that just because someone says one thing is tragic (for example, the death of a beloved lion) does not mean that they do not also believe that other things are just as and sometimes much more tragic; that just because we believe one person exhibits courage, does not mean others have not and do not exhibit courage and sometimes in greater measure.
What if instead, we mourn every death? Celebrate every act of courage? Call out every injustice? Recognize every act of altruism? What if we actually believed that humanity’s best qualities could multiply with use and worst qualities would necessarily and absolutely atrophy in the presence of love?
What kind of world would that be?
A better one I think.