Joan Halifax's perspective resonates with mine. I agree the issue isn't compassion fatigue. Instead it is the disconnection that we have from the contexts of pain, suffering, grief and death that others experience.
When we see images on television that move us to either compassion or sorrow, we are not doing so in the context where we are wholly given to a process where our feelings can have an outlet that brings some kind of resolution.
Thomas Merton, Trappist Monk, at the beginning of No Man Is An Island, wrote, "The gift of love is the gift of the power and the capacity to love, and, therefore, to give love with full effect is also to receive it. So, love can only be kept by being given away, and it can only be given perfectly when it is also received."
When we emotionally connect with global situations like Darfur or Newtown, there is a disconnection that can add to our own sense of sorrow.
It is important to remember that we are whole beings who need whole relationships, and the possibilities of mutuality to be present to be fully able to care. This is one of our great human challenges that I see.
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