I find the subject of compassion compelling. I believe this aspect of human-kind is a pivotal component in successful negotiation of the human experience where family and community is concerned. Pivotal, because in the absence of compassion there is stagnant disconnect. I suppose if one were to live solitary in the woods and could sustain the needs that promote healthy survival without interactions with fellow man, compassion and empathy would be unnecessary provisions in the condition of living. A rare few would decide to do that. Even if it were plausible to do so, we don't willingly choose to. We desire the interaction of others. It promotes a sense of inclusion and well-being. There can be no perception of that belonging without some amount of compassion and empathy echoing within the dynamic of human interaction. To that end, it's fundamental.
I never quite got around to write the sequel to Barbara and Allan Pease's evocative work (1), although I had figured out a nice name for it, "Why men don't use makeup, and women can't Sumo wrestle." Not to make fun of the genetic determinists who study gender differences, but to drive home the whole nature-nurture point on this issue: men and women have evolved to be different. But not in its restricted Darwinian sense, but in the current expanded evolutionary contexts as well -- social, psychological and politico-economic.
Once again, I'm dedicating this to folks in more or less advanced recovery from brain injury. Remember, brain damage isn't just from an impact, there are many illnesses that can cause cognitive impairment. Many people are able to recover very well. Much of this is good for people who just want to maintain their brain as they age.
Since you're pretty much on your own once they tell you you're recovered, I'm dedicating this topic to everyone who is supposedly recovered, but who do not have functional lives yet. If this isn't you, please keep reading, because it's bound to be someone you know sooner or later.
- The Broken Mirror