Compassionate behaviors and acts, those motivated by love, demand that we accept a very real risk that our compassion will not be appreciated, recognized as such, or result in any evident good. Acts of love are by nature an expression of vulnerability. It is an admission of another human being into the inner circle of our lives. Such always accentuates a basic human need and our ultimate connection with all humanity.
Love is extended only at great risk of rejection and loss, but without being able to accept that possibility we are doomed to live in fear instead of love. Much of our religious and political rhetoric is driven by the unrealistic desire to deal with societal issues which require benevolence and love but to do so without incurring personal risk. We either learn to live with the love risk, or we reject love as a realistic means of addressing our issues.
Love is an act of faith. Love is an expression of our faith in the worth and potential of another human being. A lack of faith eliminates the possibility of love.
As a culture we have been conditioned to pursue what I consider to be an impossible aspiration. That impossible objective is the desire to be seen as benevolent promoters of personal freedom and to do so without risk, maintaining perfect security in our persons and property in the process.
In reality anything that is a legitimate expression of love is risky. Acts of love unavoidably expose us to emotional turmoil and possible suffering.
Likewise, anything that promotes personal freedom logically opens the door for abuse of that freedom. In effect, if I want to be free myself, I am forced to grant the same measure of freedom to everyone else, thereby trusting them to be as judicious in exercising their freedom as I am. Nothing short of this commitment amounts to real freedom. Instead what we end up with is a pseudo-freedom, administered by various institutions whose real purpose is to restrict and constrain, the very opposite of freedom.