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Taylor Tomasini

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What are examples of where we've used (as a society) our intellect but not our compassion?

From Jacqueline's "The Blue Sweater":

"If you move through the world only with your intellect," he said in a direct and clear voice, "then you walk on only one leg." With his hands held in prayer, he lifted one leg and slowly and deliberately hopped three times. With the same deliberation and pace, he restored his foot to the floor. After a long breath, he started again. "If you move through the world only with your compassion," he said, lifting his other leg, "then you walk on only one leg." Again, he hopped three times. "But if you move through the world with both intellect and compassion, then you have wisdom." He walked slowly and gracefully, taking three long, slow strides. At the end he bowed his head again and then resumed his seat on the cushion in front of me.

From Jacqueline's book she uses the example of international aid as an act of the intellect, but not of compassion. The aid was being administered in an way that made sense, but had the unintended consequence of creating a society of people dependent on it. What made the aid lack compassion was that no one talked to the poorest of people to really understand what they needed -- to walk in their shoes. And as a result the aid was creating a society of waiters instead of initiators while achieving the opposite of the intended result.

What other examples you can you think of where this is part of our world? Maybe it is in business? Maybe in our social policies? Maybe in our laws? Maybe in our academic theories?

What are your thoughts?


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