Posted by: Mermaid | December 11, 2007

When Compassion and Principles Collide!

A few days ago I watched Philadelphia (1993) directed by Johnathan Demme starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. It tells the story of Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks), a homosexual lawyer who gets AIDS and is fired by his company when they become aware of his sexual orientation and disease.  He sues his company and is represented by Joe Miller (Denzel Washington) who originally hates gays but changes his views bit by bit about both AIDS and homosexuality. At the end of the movie, Beckett dies but he wins the law suite.  After watching the movie I asked myself: “would I feel compassion for someone I refuse where s/he stands (sexually, politically…etc.) if s/he is undergoing such a painful, drastic experience?” I am heart and mind against homosexuality.  Yet I usually feel compassion for any creature that suffers from any physical or emotional distress.

I think the human psyche is complex enough to hold ambivalent feelings like love-hate or loathe-compassion feelings. Personally speaking, I would loathe where the gay person stands in terms of sexual orientation. But at the same time, I would feel compassion for their misfortune!

What do you think? How would you feel?



  1. As you said, i would be compassionate to any creature suffering from any weakness or any kind of disease whatsoever. I count sexual orientation to be one of such factors and for sure would pitty him/her.

  2. Ya Seifo :) Thanks for the comment and menawar ya fandem :)

  3. yah ya Mayo .. I always have these contradicting feelings when I watch this philadelphia movie … I really can’t help not feeling any sympathy towards the movie main character played by Tom Hanks. It is really touching and bittering to feel all this injustice he is facing in the movie but still am holding some hate for him that makes me declare a silent “a7san” to all what is happening to him :)

  4. “a7san” :)) maskhara ya Dido :D Someone I know said when Hanks died at the end: “fe dahya!” :)

    I think we can have such contradicting feelings even in our every day life… like if there is someone who did harm us, or we hate for one reason or another… and then we hear this person is suffering from whatever, we’d feel sypmathy for her/him yet hate will be there bardo!

    Aren’t humans really complicated creatures?!

  5. B4 reading the comments i was abt to say sthn like wat Dido n ur “fe dahya” friend said … n i thought that “U r mean Yasmeen !!!!” .. bas i found others sharing with me the same contradictions !!! .. yea .. i sympathized with him in his sufferings … yet .. i cant stand his the fact that he is homosexual !!! .. ana ba2a kont ba2ool “yestahel elly garalo !!” … but lately i have developed some reconciliation manner towards anyone who does sthn that is wrong … or “7aram” … cuz i found that “Hey girl !!! u too do many mistakes … mesh keda walla eeeeeeh” ….

  6. Very true ya Yasmeen… yes, we do a lot of wrong things ourselves! We should hate the sin/deed but not the person. And you are right that we should grow more tolerant towards people who do not agree with where we stand.

  7. […] Another related post. […]

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