“… the black and white-ness of the issue is not just down to the tendency of human beings to form tribes and to see things in simplified binaries, but also because of the constraints imposed by the democratic system where a clear affirmative or negative result is required for action. But these two forces compliment and reinforce each other, and because the nature of humans and the political system sets up an antagonistic relationship between two opposing sides, unbiased approaches to facts and an ability to listen to the other side in a clear-headed, calm way get compromised.”
But accepting that others feel as we do when they are hurt, sad, afraid, or lonely, is insufficient to cause us to act compassionately when prejudice and tribal psychology numb our compassion for anyone who we consider to fall outside the circle of the “deserving”: the ones who we deem to matter, to have rights, to have value.
Humans vary, but all of us share a combination of appealing and not so appealing attributes in varying proportions. Regardless, research on compassion shows us that compassionate, kind acts increase a sense of wellbeing in most of us.