I once came face to face with my own feelings toward a bully that made me reassess my own ability to feel empathy toward someone who had never done anything but expressed profound hatred toward me and others. This bully's name was Fidel and he had a habit of picking on people. One day a kid fought back and Fidel was on the receiving end of a good old-fashioned whooping. My sympathy went toward Fidel who had been such a perfect model of a bully rather than the little kid who had avenged us all. Why Why on earth did I suddenly feel this compassion toward a person for whom I had never felt anything but contempt I realized that day that the mind is far more than a mystery; it is a comic mystery, forever capable of upending expectations. What I learned from feeling an unexpected depth of emotion toward someone that I normally feared and despised was that placing some kind of expectation upon emotions is senseless. Whenever I hear someone say something like "nobody would ever react in such and such a way" what they are really saying is everybody reacts the same way to every circumstance. My compassion for a brutal bully allows me to laugh at people expressing such remarkably unimaginative beliefs.
The experience with Fidel and the intrusio ...Show more