Originally Posted by monkey's mom
I would never express anything but my deepest condolences to the family. But, I do think it's appropriate to discuss these sorts of things away from them. I would not want to add to their grief or guilt, but I do feel like people are entitled to their reactions.
Just as people are entitled to their reactions to the person who took Maddie. Surely some people out there feel compassion for this abductor and would call for nothing but forgiveness and understanding of the probably awful things that brought him to this place. I think its fine to feel whatever, but to criticize others for not feeling that same way? I don't get that. To say that people whose gut reaction to him are less than compassionate have sunk to a lower level or that they shouldn't feel that way or express it--I dunno....if that's where you are with it, cool. But not everyone else is, you know?
You make a very good point. I have a hard time feeling compassion for people who abduct children, and for people who use them for financial gain in the child sex-trade (which I hope isn't what happened here but somehow fear it could be). Yet if I learned anything about the childhoods of the people who end up using children like this -- maybe I would feel some compassion. I know I was able to gain some compassion for terrorists after learning more about their backgrounds.
But I also agree with the pp's who argue that compassion isn't a finite quality. Also, regarding the poster who said she could feel compassion but not pity for the parents -- well, I actually think compassion is a deeper form of love than pity. So, if you're saying you feel pity
for parents of lost children who don't have J.K. Rowling and a website, and for the lost children, but compassion
for these wealthy parents -- well, you're actually preferring them over the poor parents with lost children?
Of course, maybe you're saying you feel deep compassion for ALL involved in cases like this, but reserve your pity for the poor, and for the lost children. So the latter two groups get BOTH pity and compassion, while Maddy's parents just get compassion?
Really, I think for the purposes of this thread, the words "pity," "feel sorry for," and "compassion" kind of have the same meaning. But if it helps some to make these sorts of distinctions, and "reserve" certain emotions for certain groups -- I agree with monkey's mom that everyone's entitled to their own reaction. We're expressing our opinions on a message board, not harassing Maddy's parents.