Loving Compassion


Since I went to bed yesterday evening, I’ve had this nagging thought knocking on my brain, first as a whisper in the back of my head, second as an annoying Whoopi Goldberg from Ghost coming gradually to the front line and singing until, this morning, it began screaming in my ears “Oh for crying out loud, did you hear me already?” Well, I obviously did. A slight problem with this, though, the thought in question is not that clear; it sounds like when Harry Potter is visiting Professor Horace Slughorn’s memory of his dealings with Tom Riddle as a student. The first time around, the memory is tempered with and as Tom Riddle ask his question it becomes utter hubbub. Well, my thought has sounded like that for a few days now. A nagging thought that wants to be acknowledged and dealt with, but at the same time, it wants to stay cozy in the shadow of my confusion. Not gonna happen, buddy! However, whether I’ll deal with you in this post, or in the privacy of my own heart later, remains to be decided.

My thoughts are often a mixture of private realities and question marks about life that a song might ask when I expect it the least. It can be very disconcerting at times, but I am used to it by now… I think. What is the song today, then? It’s actually two songs that are playing over and over in my head, the first one is “Can you hear me” from Poets of the Fall and it is always followed by “Love is not the Enemy” from Europe. The Poets of the Fall’s song is about compassion while Europe is talking about probably the same thing, at least in the most general sense of the term.

I think I know what the “nagging thought” knawing at me is about… but, I won’t tell, I’ll just smile and nod.

What makes us human beings is, among other things, our capacity to love and show compassion. I do not believe that one can exist without the other. Of course, there are many other factors that define us as human beings, but today, I’ll focus on the positive aspects of what makes us tick.

Crash the barricades, raise the alarm
We’ve forgotten how to feel
Break the silence, shout it out
Call the angels there’s a friend in need
Love is not the enemy
“Love is not the enemy” © Europe – Secret Society 2006

There’s yet life in these words I speak for peace of mind and our release,
And you can have what you want if you want it like you need to breathe,
like you need to breathe, like you need to breathe
Embrace reality
“Can you hear me” © Poets of the Fall – Alchemy Vol.1 2011

I like to compare songs that make me feel and think, all in a big whoosh of undefinable emotions. The quotes above are quite different; Europe is talking in a wide and general point of view while Poets of the Fall speak on a closer and more personal level. As I am checking behind the words of these songs, I can’t help but notice the similarities of the message: stop hiding your feelings, stop running from them because they are what make life so beautiful and worth living. A double edge sword, though… feelings are stronger when shared with others. Well anyway, you know what I mean with that.

Every day, we read in the newspapers and on social media how mankind behaves with one another, with animals, or with the planet in general. The lack of compassion in such cases is overwhelming. I have become so sensitive that I cannot read about it because it makes me cry every time – sorry to say, but especially when it involves animals. Man is a monster, a “wolf for man” I think for myself but then, I see the opposite happening too which makes me believe that there is still hope for mankind. We are, as a species, a bunch of incoherent and contradictory creatures. Fortunately, artists like to remind us (and most likely themselves) what we should concentrate our efforts on. I could have picked many other songs I believe, and since I am quite twisted in the head sometimes (read often, here), I’d find the same kind of message in songs where it was not even intended as such.

I think that both songs are saying thus, life is tough enough for us to go through to add extra unnecessary problems. When Poets of the Fall is singing that “you can have what you want if you want it like you need to breathe“, it gives me hope that I will be able to achieve whatever is important in my life; if everyone is hearing such a plea, then we’ll all be better for it. If you did not get it, though, in their turn Europe are singing to keep track of the light, stay in it and enjoy every moment on the planet.

Looking at the bright side
Walking in the sunshine
Loving this blue thing
Want it in my life
“Love is not the enemy” © Europe – Secret Society 2006

Poets of the Fall is also saying this, our differences are what should unite us because in the end we are all so alike. This is what makes us rich and unique as a species. If this is not about compassion then what is it about? One of our biggest problems is that even if we survive ourselves while we continue treating our home the way we do, we won’t have much use for love and compassion unless we redirect it towards our planet too… no, no, don’t worry I won’t go that way today!

You flow inside of me, language and imagery, pure in simplicity
Thirsting for unity, realised harmony,
No need to hide away your life, unique, yet so alike
“Can you hear me” © Poets of the Fall – Alchemy Vol.1 2011

We are all doomed to love, whatever and however it comes upon us. We might as well enjoy it for good and ill. In the quote below, I like to think that mankind is Harry Potter.

Professor Trelawney: Look at the cup, tell me what you see!
Ron: Oh yeah… well, Harry’s got a sort of wonky cross… that’s trials and suffering. And, uh, that there could be the sun, and that’s happiness, so… you’re gonna suffer… but you’re gonna be happy about it…

Before I let you go back to your life, I’d like to leave you with another weird analogy. Imagine that the Ring (from Lord of the Rings, obviously) was mankind; Gollum was just an element of mankind… just ponder a moment about such a ludicrous idea. Scary but neat isn’t it?

“He hates and loves the Ring, as he hates and loves himself. He will never be rid of his need for it.” (Gandalf about Gollum)
The Lord of the Rings – Part I. The Fellowship of the Ring – Quotes from the film

Take care of each other,

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