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The Pitfall of Compassion -- Must We Really Tolerate Everything?

Most who walk a spiritual path like to rise above ego and avoid being judgmental. So we try to be understanding. We make excuses. We exercise patience. And if that fails, we seek to employ forgiveness. The spirituality of compassion seems to require this passive response.

But does it really?

Sometimes by striving for compassion, or to not hurt feelings, or to not make waves, we end up allowing unacceptable behavior to go on for too long. When that happens, in a strange way we have become collaborators with the undesirable behavior.

The spiritual warrior response would be more active than passive. As any weaver of magick could attest, is it not judgmental to ward off harmful, offensive, or life-sucking energies.

It is not judgmental to say, stop that. It is not judgmental to say, we don’t allow that here. It is also not judgmental to simply remove yourself from an environment where negative or unethical things are being said or done.

And it is not judgmental, if you have the ability to do so, to remove others from an environment of peace, light, and truth when they can’t behave themselves.

Taking swift action when something is occurring that should not be tolerated, in order to safeguard self and others, is actually the noble duty of the spiritual warrior.

Of course, to be applied fairly, that duty must be coupled with a good amount of sensitivity, awareness, and wisdom. Being a spiritual warrior is not that same as being a self-righteous crusader – but that equation is a topic for another thread.

And by safeguard, I include protecting not just physical self, but one’s time, energy, emotional health, and inner peace as well.

People are entitled to their thoughts, yes. But they are not necessarily welcomed to share them in your living room.

Online spaces such as private groups, and personal or professional social media pages are akin to a living room. We might warmly welcome folks to drop in, sit a spell, and join in on a conversation. But that is not the same as granting unlimited permission to be rude, intimidating, or otherwise obnoxious.

You have the right to not tolerate forms of expression that are shaming other otherwise harmful, that insinuate a threat, or libel others. Developing as spiritual beings does not mean we have to give up our boundaries or abdicate the responsibility to be a spiritual warrior who stands up for truth and against harm.

I say this in the context of being an admin for several Facebook groups. Being an admin, I notice patterns in folks who find these groups and request to join, only to wreak havoc. The larger the group, the more this occurs.

And it occurs regardless of identifying factors in the Facebook account holder. Men and women, English speaking and not, young and old – all are pretty equally found as online perpetrators or purveyors of intolerable behavior.

Your compassion doesn’t require you to give them free rein.


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