17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
The Simple Wonder of Compassion and Empathy,
This review is from: As If (Paperback)
I have long believed that 'To understand all is to forgive all' (Voltaire). Many people don't agree but I often wonder how those adults braying for two ten year old boys to be locked up as 'evil animals' would feel if they could see a video of the boys lives. What must they have been subjected to - we must ask ourselves as adults - to have been able to commit such a murder?
Morrison goes further than this... in order to understand he looks inside himself... as any good actor, Buddhist, Christian, believer or humanist must do. Every good actor that seeks to play a murderer must find the seeds of a murderer inside himself. It's only then when we truly see how, had the dice fallen differently, any one of those three boys could have been our sons - that we can have the compassion and empathy that such a case cries out for.
It is 2007 now and yet STILL emails circulate asking us to add our names to complaints that the judge had compassion and offered them new lives and new identities. So if you get such an email, and feel inclined to add your name - read this book first.
And if, like me, you are saddened by the lack of understanding and compassion displayed by humanity, read Blake Morrison's book. As he says so wonderfully - even if you don't agree that 'To understand all is to forgive all' you may agree that to understand nothing is to forgive nothing. This is all around us. The alternative, the way of peace and of forgiveness has to be worked hard for.
So thank you Blake Morrison - for this exceptionally brave piece of writing. And for teaching us about wisdom and compassion.