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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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    Feb 9 2013: Taylor, I have some problems with "compassion". The new applied definition is "throwing money at a problem in order to ease your conscience" ... that definition comes from the Bob book of what I think. LOL. Hay its my reply so I do it by my rules. LOL. So thinking about that I turned the question around. We know that the CEO of UNICEF makes $1,200,000 a year and lots of perks including a Royals Royce and only 14 cents of the dollars goes to the cause. The second bandit is the Red Cross .. CEO gets $651,957 and lots of perks ... 39 cents of the dollar to the cause. Or the United Way $375K plus many many perks look them up (wow) ...51 cents of the dollar to the cause.

    After massive donations, big federal intervention, and red cross and others appearances in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, during Sandy .... why are they still boarded up ... homeless ... and generally no better off. The New Orleans Mayor Ray Negi is under indictement by the way. Even worse is the overseas donations ... the cash is skimmed here and then takes a heavy hit by the leaders of the government of the nation where they are destined.

    For smart people we do really dumb things and worse yet continue to do them over and over expecting different results.

    Just comments from a guy that lives outside of the box. I wish you well. Bob.
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      Feb 11 2013: Thanks for the submission, Robert. You are right to point these things out, and to question "compassion" when these are the examples of so-called compassionate action.

      Luckily there is hope. In John Mackey's book Conscious Capitalism he highlights how the executive team of Whole Foods has a compensation cap not to exceed 19x the average pay of all team members; a number that is way below most other organizations. And his company is a for-profit enterprise.

      John Mackey is a great example of people living out the entire nature of their intelligence -- living with compassion, intellect, emotional intelligence, etc.

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