Monday, May 26, 2014

Agape Love as "brave compassion"

It is unusually difficult to be compassionate when one is also under attack.

I mean not just when enemy bullets are winging your way but also when your entire society, including all your friends and family around you, is seemingly opposing your compassion.

Being brave and compassionate under fire , when your nation expects all soldiers to be so , certainly requires a lot of physical bravery (after all , most VC recipients died while earning it).

But it rarely requires any real moral courage.

By contrast , opposing your own society to display compassion doesn't always require physical bravery - but it certainly requires a great deal of moral courage.

Henry Dawson's wartime compassion meant both having the physical courage to accept that his actions would only hasten his death from Myasthenia Gravis and the moral courage to deal with hostility from his colleagues, employer and national government.

This is why I think it useful to contrast Dawson's WWII Agape valour with the Agape valour he and fellow Nova Scotian Philip Bent VC displayed in WWI...

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