"Whether you're high or low, gotta tip on the tightrope." -Janelle Monáe
Really relevant quote. To be wise is to know multiple sides and what they all have in common--they all exist and deserve acknowledgement. Never be too much this or too much that with regards to ideological movements, because they can easily corrupt and be corrupted. Simply understand that, no matter how positively or negatively you perceive a situation to be, whether it directly involves you or others, that all involved are beings of consciousness and deserve to be dispassionately acknowledged.
That is not to say that vile acts will be condoned, by no means should this be done. Yet those involved in vile acts must not be marginalized, dehumanized, and thoughtlessly burned at the stake either. This is the tightrope balance. What to do then? We must develop the intelligence to understand that, as deplorable as we may find a person, behavior, or circumstance, that the essence of that which we observe is, quite literally, the same essence as us. Holding that idea in our awareness shifts our energy to influence our actions, which reverberate out into the global consciousness, be it 'human', animal, vegetable, or mineral. Acknowledge that whatever happened, or whatever was done had a reason behind it. You may or may not ever understand it, but to acknowledge that there was a reason, that this person/action/circumstance is part of you, shifts the way you behave and make decisions. This in turn is a silent benediction, a 'good word' of blessing that echoes throughout the fabric of earthly existence, influencing all other life forms to fall in step with this awareness of balance.
This process of balance and acknowledgement is called compassion.
Compassion involves many moments of emotional ambiguity, yet remaining in the middle of it all, with no complaints, no judgment of anything as inherently good or bad.
So how to take action? Base your actions on human values.
All human values are rooted in Love, either for self or others.
Physically humans value food, shelter, and clothing (clothing seems to be the only optional value, depending on where one lives in the world); emotionally we value healthy connections and relationships; mentally we value the expansion of personal knowledge, the process of learning. Another human value must be acknowledged: the humanity or 'right to exist' of every living creature on the planet.
Once these values are established in one's own consciousness and in the society, we can, for example, look at those who commit crimes (particularly violent ones) rather differently.
Compassion doesn't mean we wear tye-dye shirts, give the violent offenders a flower, then go scampering off, leaving them to continue to repeat the same behavior. Compassion simply means that we do not disavow their humanity; we look at them as if we were to look at someone who is a expression of the same infinite consciousness that we are, but something in them has become sick--they simply need an adjustment of perspective.
This is what rehabilitation is meant to do--adjust the perspective of those who need its services so those same people being served do not repeat their self destructive tendencies. The issue is that most rehabilitation centers an prisons are filled with staff that either have no compassion, or a limited view of it.
Compassion really starts with the self. You have to see the beauty that is within you before you can see it within others effectively.
Compassion is the result of an inner awakening, a human and a spiritual understanding. Compassion says that no matter who you are as a human, that violent criminal is also human. Compassion says that no matter what, you are both pure consciousness. So on both ends of the spectrum, compassion can be seen to be valid.
This is the reason meditation is now coming back into world human consciousness. Meditation is the process of simply being silent and observing. Meditation is the seed, the root from which the rest of your life can blossom. Meditation creates a bridge to that fundamental level of life, where all is one.
When you are silent and observing in your meditation practice, the act of being silent and observing will spill over into your active waking life. The awareness that all is pure infinite consciousness becomes a spontaneous lifestyle--life itself becomes a meditation, and compassion comes more easily.
We live in a world that appears to be on the brink of war. This is because we do not understand our inherent connection and oneness. When we come to understand compassion more and more, the prospect(s) of war will eventually (and hopefully) begin to fade. All that we think makes us inherently different is, in truth, only a surface-level observation. The only inherent thing is the universality of our humanity on this planet.
When we make life a meditation, when we come to trust our hearts, our universal connection, we can begin a sincere work on building a world of peace. Compassion will not make the process of doing so less challenging, but it will make it easier, in the long run, for each of us to trust one another again, across countries, ages, colors, creeds, sexes, and make war no more.