I am the Last Person to be Writing About Compassion

And yet, here I am.

I have not watched the Kony 2012 film. I know there are critics. I know there are people who have gotten their panties in a bunch over the video and the Invisible Children nonprofit and the co-founder and filmmaker, Jason Russell.

I’m not going to talk about that.

I have also not watched the video footage of Jason losing his shit on a street corner. “But that seems like something you would love!” you say to me. If it were anyone else, I’d have to agree. But not Jason.

Jason and I went to college together. He not only lived in my building, but he was the roommate of one of my best friends. Jason and I were never friends, though he treated everyone as such. We never really hung out as pals and I don’t even know his middle name and I’m not going to pretend I knew him better than I did.

I, like a million other girls, had the hugest crush on Jason. Astronomical. So much so that when the Kony 2012 video was first going around that I Google-image searched Jason and the butterflies in the stomach of 20 year old me fluttered. And when you had that kind of crush on someone, you remember the most insignificant of interactions.

Jason was the first guy to hold my hand. I was a resident adviser in our building as was my friend. We had planned a trip to the Getty Museum but there was so much traffic getting there that we got there about 30 minutes before it closed. Jason grabbed my hand and we ran over to a security guard. He said to her that it was our first time there and since we only have 30 minutes, what is the ONE THING that we should see. She said her favorite was the “big blue bed.” She gave us directions and because one doesn’t run in a museum, of course, Jason and I walked really really quickly, slowing only to admire this thing or that but never stopping completely until we got to the big blue bed. And we stared at it and I brilliantly said, “Well, that’s a big, blue bed.” And then we realized we were still holding hands and it was awkward so we dropped it.

My other memory is that Jason’s the only person I’d successfully partner-danced with. Swing dancing, actually. There were always swing dance events going on on campus. The fact that I successfully partner-danced with someone isn’t groundbreaking to those of you who don’t know me. But those of you who DO know me shouldn’t be surprised to learn that I suck at partner-dancing because I ALWAYS TRY TO LEAD. Obviously.

And this brings me to compassion. It breaks my heart when I see people posting the video of Jason’s breakdown and the horrible comments that follow. And then my brain exploded as I realized holy shit, other people on the internet who have their darkest moments caught on video ARE REAL PEOPLE TOO, whether I knew them briefly or not.

Am I suddenly going to be all Zen and shit? No. Am I still going to roll around giggling in a blanket of schadenfreude? Fuck yes. But maybe I am going to try to focus my mean-spiritedness more toward people I have already vetted as people I dislike (for various reason not disclosed here as they change with the wind). And maybe I’ll be more conscious when I have a laugh at the expense of someone else. I’ll still most definitely have that laugh, but I may force myself to have some thoughts as well. Maybe. It sounds like a good idea right now.

I’m sure in about ten minutes I’ll be laughing at a video of some guy getting kicked in the nuts so don’t quote me on that last paragraph.

As always, I will continue to laugh at myself because we all know I’m not perfect either. But at least I’m not getting kicked in the nuts.

Published in: on 03/24/2012 at 5:13 AM  Comments (1)