01 July 2017

Ruminating On Compassion



It often seems these days that compassion has become a purely tribal thing. If you don’t look or think like the tribe, you are somehow substandard… less than human and undeserving of basic human compassion. Withholding compassion is the expression of prejudice. This poem questions what motivates compassion in us and, I hope, challenges us to expand our sense of our own tribe to include all of humanity. We are, when all is said and done, only one world for one human race.


What is compassion?
What is this illusive ideal?
Is it only for the deserving?
If it’s limited is it even real?

Why do humans feel compassion, and for whom?
Is compassion reserved only for our own tribe?

What determines withholding compassion?
Who decides only the deserving may be served?
Deciding, who condescends to choose?
Who chooses for whom compassion is deserved?

Will I be chosen?
Will you?


© D. Denise Dianaty
01 July 2017