Gregory Boyle’s Tattoos on the heart is one of the masterpieces for the promotion of unmerited and unconditional compassion. The story gives the authenticity to the real and true meaning of love and affection. The transformation that is seen in the once gang filled town took the courage, compassion and high level of determination to get the whole contextual connotation from the whole adventure. As it were, the current transformation that is seen to cut across the gang divide is made possible through changing of the lives of these various persons (Boyle, 12). As the priest tries to give members of the gangs an alternative way of earning a living, he is deemed to be very much caring and hence takes the courage to teach them the ways of God. This paper gives a detailed analysis of the context of the book with keen attention to the theme of compassion.
Compassion is not only a calling but also a devotion to feel pity and help those who are vulnerable at their point of need. In the analysis of this theme, one of the most important issues that are given attention is the main objective Gregory Boyle as he decides to offer himself as that person who would want to serve the poor and the violent based areas. The research also provides a platform for depiction of passionate love as a branch of compassion and unconditional desire to help the humanity. The string will and determination that these Christian team has in bringing some sense of sanity is comprehensively discussed as it gives the basis for which compassion is founded. The main question one would ask is the extent to which compassion as a theme has been used in bringing out the exemplary work of Gregory the priest of Dolores Mission Church.
One of the fundamental areas where compassion is seen to be a backbone for development of the mission is the selfless decision of Gregory Boyle to serve the poor. He goes ahead to declare his intentions of being a priest who serves the poor. At the time he is given the mandate to head Dolores Mission Church his superiors are well aware that the area is marred with high level of violence where there are various gang groups who frequently get involved in violent fights amongst each other. Given the whole context of the situation his courage to work in this violence infested areas shows the utmost compassion that he has towards the humanity (Boone, 16). The proposition that compassion has many branches which comprises kindness and consideration is quite true.
The devotion that the priest has makes him be an enigma of true compassion among the humanity. From his behavior of making this decision, he is quite empathetic where his interest aside and tries to find means and ways in which he can actually rescue the humanity from bondage. Compassion is all about being mindful about others and giving them the life that you would want to lead and making sure that they do not suffer. For Gregory, the deployment to this violent area which consisted of two notorious gangs was an opportunity to bring on board the advent of transformation which would eventually give these individuals the peace of mind and unravel their truths about their suffering so that they could be helped. In so doing he is quite enthusiastic and optimistic the transformation that he would initiate would eventually create a platform of restoration of the whole area to Christian life (Boyle, 15).
From the narrative, Dolores Mission church lies within the area which highly rated for gang activities. This means that the persons leaving in these places initially are quite terrified of the violent activities that are happening. With this notion in mind, Gregory is keen to accentuate various projects whose main aim is to spread the arm of compassion and declare restoration among the individuals in this area who are deemed to be quite violent. This violence is seen to have been the order of the day for the citizens in this area where the church is built. The first thing that Gregory does is to institute the connotation of being empathetic to everyone in this area and trying to understand them at their point of need. With this in mind, the priest starts some of the vital programs that are geared towards reaching out to the various gang members (Boone, 9). This move is done through the establishments of an alternative school which not only enrolls the children of the gang but also try to teach them the Christian values which will in the long end give them the strength to move on and abandon the thug life. The school that is instituted create a platform where the children of the major gang rivals and at the start try to quarrel amongst each other but in the long end ends up growing together and becoming friends (Fremon, 18). This initiative of the priest a gesture of creation of transformation through the use of strict Christian values which would aid in making sure that the whole context of the youth empowerment is brought to a potentially critical stance. The Christian teachers who have been deployed in this alternative school carry the same ambition of compassion as inspired by the priest of this area. It is through this program that some of the powerful alliances come on board and peace and tranquility is restored in this part of Loss Angeles (Boyle, 14).
One of the actions that are deemed to be arm compassion is being empathetic to one another. With this virtue one is able to discern the whole context of the problem that one faces and try to solve it. For this community of Pico Gardens and Aliso Village, the main issue that transcended was the high level of poverty. Mr. Boyle established that most of citizens in this area did not have the proper way of earning a living due to little avenues for employment opportunities while they needed to survive (Fremon, 18). Their survival was based on the fact that they had to eat and take shelter which needed some source of income. With this proposition in place, the sole responsibility of the Gregory was to get a way in which these fellows would earn a living. Driven by high sense of compassion for this area, Gregory had to set Christian base communities which were deemed to preach peace while trying to understand the real problems that these individuals face. The peace forums were also brought into existence for the fact that they indeed helped in making sure that there was not only peaceful coexistence but also that most of the problems that these fellows faced were brought to book (Boyle, 11).
After the discerning of the problem that these gang members, Mr. Boyle discovered that the real need for these members was job. With this in mind, he did yet again an act of compassion by starting a program known as “Jobs for the future” which was geared towards finding the relevant jobs in the neighboring companies for these gang members (Boone, 8). This move was a milestone step in creating a platform for peace where these individuals now had an alternative source of income which fueled their calmness. And now as the violence strikes in the neighboring towns, Pico/Aliso area is seen to be quite calm for the reason that the once strategically placed gangsters are now not only peace keepers but also the employees who builds the economy at every point in time. Another step to fight poverty is the inception of the homeboys industries which makes employability quite easy for the people around this area as they now use their God given talents to earn a living (Boyle, 22).
In summary, the overriding theme of compassion has been explored in the narrative. it is evident that Gregory Boyle’s unswerving yearn for compassion for the poor helps him to create a rapid transformation in the Pico/Aliso area. The heart of understanding of the plea of these once gangster region members helps him to turn around the whole story of the area for the better (Boone, 18). The inception of the programs for peace and the empowerment has helped to transform the area with the keen attention to scrapping out poverty and high sense of violence. It is now the duty of every person in the society to follow the footsteps of Gregory Boyle and try to create the substantial change within our community through high level of compassion.
Boone, Eric. Inner-City Evangelism: A Model for Reaching Gangs for Christ. Diss. Liberty University, 2014.
Boyle, Gregory. Tattoos on the heart. New York: Free Press, 2010.
Fremon, Celeste. G-dog and the homeboys. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.(See Father Greg’s website at www. homeboy-industry. org), 2004.
Healy, D. “The dynamics of desistance.” London, England: Willan (2010).