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Essay: "Compassion"

Almost Lost My Compassion

I almost lost my compassion yesterday. I'd let a friend read my essay "Short Cut Chess" as preparation for an upcoming tournament. He told a friend. The friend wanted to read it too, and he wanted to play me. I let him read it and then made time to play him. He had very little skill, which I had already guessed. There was nothing I said that could possibly have offended this guy, but he started acting squirrelly as soon as I said 'check'. He made me repeat saying 'check' four times while he pretended to be too stupid to realize what this word meant. Then he got even more 'ignert' by asking over and over what I'd said in addition to 'check', which was nothing.

I practice a lot of extra patience with these short-timer punk kids who are working their ways to max security as I work my way out. We are in medium now. He's never seen where I came from, plus I am not letting him drag me there with him. I am patient with them because I know they are not very intelligent, scantily educated and mentally only about 12 yrs old. As he's telling me that we can hide in a cage and fight over nothing, I notice two things: one, he's a big, fat blond, long-hair 'biker' fraud, and two, he's performing for a cage full of Nazi-frauds behind him who are ignoring him in favor of TV sports. This causes clowny-boy to work even harder to get his 'props' from his apathetic cronies. By this time I've finished playing games with him and I am demanding he tell me what he thinks I said. He tells me that if I talk any louder, he'll hit me. Ordinarily when an ignorant young buffoon threatens me, an old man, at this close a distance, I would immediately gouge out his eye with my thumb. But we are at a medium, and his gang buddies would snitch me off for defending myself from his stupidity. I decide to be compassionate, but feel that by not teaching this punk a lesson now he will be encouraged to act even stupider later, at much greater cost. If he pulls such a stunt at the max in McAlester, his victim is likely to gut him to death with a mop wringer. So, compassion is relative to context, and sometimes you just have to hope you did the right thing, since, who can tell what the right thing is in prison?