Once, when I had a little lunch chat with my ex-boss, the conversation went to the ‘gay topic’ unpredictably and undesirably.
” I pity homosexuals,” I said. Short but serious.
Then she came with these lines as her response, ” Why do you? You see, I once had visited an orphanage belonged to my friend. When I looked at those children, I told my friend, what a pity. They’ve never had parents since they were born. Their life must be miserable.”
She told me how much she was shocked by her friend’s reply.
“Don’t. Don’t pity them. You might think they are miserable but they could be happier than most children with parents. Probably they even are happier than you.”
“Since that day I started to stop using the word ‘pity’. I realize I have no rights to pity anybody.” She concluded in a solemn voice.
Her saying surely brought me to a deeper thinking: does anyone of us have the right to feel sorry for others?
Let’s get back to the ‘gay topic’ for a moment since it was the context where the ‘pity’ word first spelled out.
Honestly, I know that I don’t have any reason to feel that I am better than anyone. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” The Lord Almighty said. Just because I say that I feel sorry for anyone doesn’t mean I feel that I am a better person. Okay, I want to be more honest. I, sometimes, think that I am better than this or that person. This kind of thinking is part of my arrogance, so to speak. And part of my illusions too. My superior feeling or thinking usually comes up by this way: I met someone without good points which I personally have and my notification of his or her lack brought me to such kind of proud feeling which helplessly turned into arrogance.
Only by being aware that a person doesn’t have some traits as good as mine, I can be drawn to an idea that I might have permission to feel better than anyone else. At this point, the idea blurs the difference between pity and superior feeling.
Sometimes I am ashamed to admit how easy for me to think that I am better than some others. And to admit that actually I don’t have any reasons nor rights to think that way is more shameful and difficult for me. To make my facts even worse is that sometimes I choose to foolishly keep the illusional thought only because I want to keep the superior feeling. I need to feel that I am better than anyone else because sometimes that’s the only way I can feel better about my self .
Truthfully, pity doesn’t have anything with arrogance but compassion. I believe that no one has any rights to pity anybody if the feeling comes from a false self consciousness of superiority. Pity that comes from insincere motives and judgmental mindsets are merely a fake compassion.
Life has taught me many precious lessons. One of its most valuable teachings is that anything is possible, including to have pity on others. It’s alright to feel compassion since one thing that is not allowed is being judgmental. That’s because anything comes out of judgmental mindset is simply not the right thing. When you take pity for someone is when you really feel regret for the person and you are moved to do whatever you can to bring him/her to a better condition. At that time, I believe no one will stand against you by saying you are judgmental or having a fake compassion. Why? Because you are sincere.
Do you see it?
Your sincerity is the border line between pity and mere superiority.
When I say I have pity for homosexuals, I’m not saying I am a better human compared to them. In truth, I feel far from better. Simply because the remark doesn’t come from a comparison between me and them. I don’t compare myself to homosexuals. What brings me to feel sorry for them is merely my self disposition: what would I feel if I am one of them? If I am a homosexual?
This disposition helplessly brings some negative emotions into my mind: rejected, confuse, sad, envy, denied, desperate and other negativeness that gays themselves admit they have to struggle with in almost every minute of their life. Are there persons who have to undergo this kind of life without being extremely exhausted? We also have heard about some homosexuals who were so desperate with their sexuality so they finally chose to end their own life.
I can’t imagine of hearing those tragic and not feeling any sorry for them. Aren’t I allowed to have pity on them because of their plight?
However, the real issue is not pity.
The real issue is the motivation, the value system. The issue is no longer “may we pity anybody?” but “why do we pity them?”
After some self-contemplation I finally come to this simple conclusion:
I think I will always take pity for homosexuals just as I will always feel sorry for street children, the hungers, lost persons, les miserables.
I pity them because of difficulties and hardships those people have and looking on them makes me more thankful for my life.
Though my pity can’t bring any betterment for the persons’ life, at least it can bring me to a deeper self-awareness and gratitude. My pity is not to judge others but to get me thankful for what I have and already had.
Honestly, I know there is someone who always taking pity for me. I will never be ashamed to admit that my life is saved by pity. God’s pity has saved my life and transformed it from nothing to precious.
Yes, pity is not forbidden.
Especially when it is born in a sincere heart moved by God!