I got a much-needed lesson in compassion recently. I'm a very by-the-rules person and feel that people must be accountable for their actions. (Probably why I like the military so much most of the time.) I was very much against the mortgage bailout, partially because I felt like many (or maybe even most) of the people had borrowed more than they could afford, so there needed to be consequences or people would just keep doing that same type of thing in the future. (I also wasn't too thrilled about bailing out a bunch of companies on Wall Street that had made bad investments. Plus, it didn't seem like the bill being passed stood a high chance of success in "rescuing" the economy.) I found out how easy it is to judge when it's a bunch of faceless people that are losing their homes. Now, it's more difficult because I actually know people that's happening to. Especially around Christmas time, people are supposed to be more giving, but I guess that forgiveness and compassion are part of that. Granted, the common homeowner really isn't being helped by the $800 billion bill and I'm really unsure where that money has gone. But, the greater point to me is that I should have more sympathy for those in trouble, however they ended up that way.
That being said, I'm still not sure the UAW should keep all their current wages and benefits as the big three US automakers head towards insolvency, but maybe there should be a happy medium between total bailout and filing bankrupcy since so many people outside the plants will be affected by any actions. I guess the spirit of Christmas is sometimes a gradual gift.