One chap suggested that the second guy lacked compassion because he (guy #2) didn't support a mandated tax on income that would be dedicated to helping the poor. Guy #1's words were, paraphrased, "How could you not support helping others? Have you no compassion?"
Which got me to thinking.
How do we differentiate between genuine true compassion and what is known as "Idiot Compassion".
To define, Idiot Compassion is a compassionate act that is done to alleviate the suffering of the one doing the act. How often have you heard someone say "I can't stand to see
Isn't that person then doing "something" (be it giving money, time, supporting a charity, etc.) simply so they don't have to see the thing that caused them the grief? Are they buying a homeless man a meal so they can see him eat, know he's no longer hungry, and thus alleviate their OWN pain and suffering from seeing a hungry man?
That's Idiot Compassion: People who do acts that, on the face of things, seem to be compassionate, but are done for their own selfish reasons.
This Idiot Compassion is the root of any "Social Welfare" program. The idea that helping others will, in some fashion, benefit our own selves and our position in society. "We will all be better if there was less poverty/hunger/uneducated people/etc. in the world." We don't address these things because it's the right thing to do. Rather we address these things because it helps US.
So, in essence, this sort of "compassion" is selfishness, and not compassion at all.
Contrast that to true compassion. Doing something because you just WANT to, without thought of reward or recognition. Do it because you understand. Do it because you care, not because you can't bear to watch another suffer.