On or Off

02020-07-03 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

Without empathy how can we have compassion? Sometimes it seems like we need to feel less because the world is messed up and sadness could overwhelm us, but the truth is that without sadness the joy is gone, too. Empathy can’t be dispensed selectively. Turn off empathy and soon you feel nothing. It’s the same with seeing ugliness… if you try to turn off seeing ugliness then you also turn off seeing beauty. We can’t have one without the other, it seems to me. Seeing the ugliness that confronts us means also noticing the beauty that is lurking everywhere. On or off is the only choice you have.

I always imagine the gesture Laurence Fishburn makes when he fights Keanu Reeves in The Matrix…

Bring it on.


  1. JaneParhamKatz

    Exactly the thoughts I need at this moment, as if you were listening to my pain. I was overwhelmed by the devastation in Yemen…Covid on top of war and starvation. Then we just got an alert that contagion is severe in New Mexico, stay in!

    Thank you, Ottmar, for your music and much more. XO

  2. Debra Dodd

    sometimes it seems numbness would be welcome … no sadness or happiness. my personal belief is that one day very soon there will be an end to duality


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