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Compassion and Idiot Compassion


If you're around Buddhist circles very much, especially Boulder Buddhists, or hipster Buddhists, or the people who tell you they're spiritual but not religious and they really like a lot about Buddhism, you'll hear a lot of the usual politically convenient talk about redistribution, and mercy, and how the Occupy people have good ideas, and how it's never right to kill and how George Zimmerman couldn't have been justified. Or you hear how Obama should do something about the horrible things happening in Libya or Syria or the Sudan or for the Palestinians -- but not, of course, using the military, he should make the UN do something or have a conference or a peace process.

And I remember Vashti, and I remember that sometimes the thing that makes you feel better isn't the thing that does the most to reduce suffering.