Compassion for Those Who Differ

Do you have compassion for those who differ from you? When is the last time you had a social justice discussion? Was it race relations? Sexual orientation? The reality is not that easy to face. Consider this quote:

“Some of the most challenging debates — and ones that are rife with faulty reasoning — are those where self-identity, social identity, and social relations come together as the primary focus.” (Linker, 2015)

Stay with me!

Pornography — A Social Justice Issue. A search on the internet produced 5+ results. Suppose, after reading the various articles, we decide to have a discussion. Do you think the discussion would be a challenging debate? Based on the quote, I would have to say, “Yes.” First of all, the title reeks with thoughts of ideologies involving faulty reasoning.


A collection of beliefs about oneself” is an easy way to define self-identity. One may say, “I do not look at pornography.” Another, “I do; what’s wrong with that?” There are those who stumbled across it and found themselves spiraling into a dark, crippling pattern of unwanted behavior. Even some Hollywood stars never live down their early years of seeking fame by appearing on the pages of a magazine.

Social Identity

Born into wealth may be what provided your sense of social identity. Perhaps, born poor. As far as I remember, being a Church-goer was part of my social identity. My sense of being a Christian came years later. Nevertheless, something about my social identity warned me to hide the facts of my 11-year-old introduction to pornography. My social identity peers were also warned. What conversation did you have with your social identity about the issue?

Social Relations

“In social science, a social relation or social interaction is any relationship between two or more individuals.” Let’s just say, despite being on this planet, you have not been exposed to porn. Whom do you know that was? Whatever your social relation, it is not worth keeping your head in the sand on the issue.

Compassion for Those Who Differ

Here is another quote for consideration,

“We have little empathy or compassion for those whose conclusions are so different from our own, and we withdraw from real analysis because we fear that we will offend someone, that we will not be believed, or that we will never change the other person’s mind.” (Linker, 2015)

Pornography is just one of the social justice subjects. Racism and human trafficking are hot items. So many are still afraid to speak up or speak out.

Do you suffer from unseeing the unjust reality? Consider expanding your thinking. Join the conversation. Yes, be prepared for challenging debates. Even faulty reasoning. More than anything, practice intellectual empathy. Sharpen your critical thinking. Be compassionate!

Linker, M. (2015). Intellectual Empathy — Critical Thinking for Social Justice. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Charlton Alexander

Charlton Alexander

Executive Director of African American Family Life Center of Artistic Communication — Owner of