Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

At the end of this movie, "The Boy In The Striped Pajamas," you see the German prison Commandant looking on at the gas chamber in bewilderment as he begins to comprehend what just happened.  But then you see in his eyes a shift.  A moment of compassion, or connection with all the suffering that he has been a part of.  What will happen to him now that he connects, now that he has this human moment of compassion for those who are suffering loss?  He will probably lose his position as Commandant because on the one hand he is an embarrassment at such a screw up that cost his family so much suffering.  Maybe he will be sent to the Front, if he can even get himself to fight and kill.  Compassion is very powerful.  It can blunt some violent energies, and can see through propaganda.  So maybe he will end up in prison himself, as being a soldier unwilling to fight.  He may go into guilt trips, and blame himself for not making the intent of the prison camps clear to his son.  The Nazis tried to fool a lot of people with propaganda about these "work camps."  But ultimately, compassion is what changes us. Instead of enemies, we see "brothers and sisters" of the human condition, and our hearts go out to them.  Be careful if you pray for compassion.  You may make new enemies...those who have not yet received the gift of compassion.  As with the Commandant, this gift comes at a high price, our own suffering.

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