We grow up against our will. The people who refuse to have anything to do with the things that make them uncomfortable are not candidates for maturation. Everything works together for the good of those who open themselves to the reality of their experience and do what is called for in each situation as it arises, and make mistake after mistake, and learn from each one of them, and are better for having done what they did and learned from it, than they would have been if they had just waited for someone to tell them what to do. It is amazing how a life fully lived takes care of the one living it, and we learn how to live through the process of living and no one could tell us what we know from doing what we have done, and from living to redeem ourselves for not knowing what we were doing, and finding out the hard way what we should have done. But that is how it works! There is no living safe a little prophylactic life that doesn't need redemption! We have to walk into the kitchen and start making breakfast in order to figure out how to make breakfast. Burning the toast and knowing when/how to flip the eggs comes with time and experience. As does everything else about being alive. So get in there and do your thing, and let your outcomes direct your acting in the field of action for as long as you are alive!
People who are capable of compassion are powerful people. They don't have to carry guns or hang out with people who do. Guns were everywhere in my growing up in the Mississippi delta. Compassion was in short supply. In my childhood, all of the women I knew stopped with sentimentality. None of them allowed themselves to be compassionate. Compassion would have made it impossible to bear what had to be borne. They had to suck it up and do what their life required, walking past injustices and wrongs without a second thought. The present crop of Republican mavens remind me of those women without the kindness. But kindness walks a thin line between sentimentality and compassion. Kindness is a momentary expression of caring and concern, compassion keeps you awake at night and demands a reckoning with all that is not right about your life. You cannot live the way you live and be compassionate. Kindness is a way of excusing the way you live, salve on the conscience, recompense for looking away. A way of making your peace with your life. A votive offering to appease the gods. All we can do with a life that will not allow compassion. But the reckoning will not be denied, and extracts its due with empty eyes and shriveled souls, and the eternal agony of the unlived life that demanded truth and was spurned by necessity, and aborted shortly after birth.
Making our peace with our life is an ongoing undertaking. We have to keep coming to terms with how things are, and also are. The contradictions will not go away, and exist for us as the clashing rocks and the crashing waves at every step along life's way. If it weren't for what, everything would be fine? There is always something, and things would not be fine even without it. "Fine" is a happy fantasy. Things are fine exactly as they are! It is fine that we have to make our peace with our life again and again. It may as well be fine, because it is not going anywhere. And conditions will change in a blink, and we will have to make our peace with something else, and something else after that. Always the same: "This is how things are, and this is what we can do about it, and that's that." So we do what we can do about it and let that be that. In each situation as it arises, all our life long. And as long as that is the case, we may as well do what we can about what needs to be done with the gifts/daemon/genius/talents of our original nature in conjunction with the restrictions and limitations of time and place, when it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, for as long as it needs to be done, no matter what-- for the joy of doing it and the satisfaction of having done it-- and stop interfering with this process by wishing it could be different, and better, and more fun. Stop the whining and do the work! Enjoy what can be enjoyed, relish what can be relished, let come what's coming and let go what's going. Every step of the way.