A Man of Mercy has Passed

 The South African activist and former president Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) helped bring an end to apartheid and has been a global advocate for human rights. A member of the African National Congress party beginning in the 1940s, he was a leader of both peaceful protests and armed resistance against the white minority’s oppressive regime in a racially divided South Africa. His actions landed him in prison for nearly three decades and made him the face of the anti-apartheid movement both within his country and internationally. Released in 1990, he participated in the eradication of apartheid and in 1994 became the first black president of South Africa, forming a multi-ethnic government to oversee the country’s transition. after retiring from politics in 1999, he remained a devoted champion for peace and social justice in his own nation and around the world until his death in 2013 at the age of 95. Even after his imprisonment had ended, he preached compassion and forgiveness, two key components of mercy. Instead of seeking revenge on the race that condescended to him and oppressed his people, he sought after equality. This was one of the most merciful acts of the 20th century. Instead of being a mercy killer, he was a mercy leader. Leaders are known to lead by example, and in Mandela’s case, he lead the nation towards a revolutionary attitude shift that was once filled to the brim with hate that is now full of compassionate, forgiving people.


“You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution.” – Nelson Mandela






Mercy gone wrong? Or maybe right? Possibly left?

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Acts of Battlefield Mercy in History

Mercy isn’t a part of any army’s strategy. Combat training is about eliminating any doubts or sympathy that might make a recruit hesitate at the wrong second. When his own life — and the life of everyone in the unit — is at stake, there’s no time to stop and ask, “But won’t this Nazi’s wife miss him?” That kind of thing gets you killed.

And yet, inspiring stories of mercy on the battlefield do turn up all through history. In the most inhumane settings, sometimes a little humanity shines through.

#5. A British Sniper Spares George Washington

British soldier Patrick Ferguson was an expert marksman who invented his own rifle and created his own sniping unit. This becomes much more impressive when you consider that this was the 1700s, when guns were so primitive that you had a better chance of hitting the enemy if you just threw it at them. Then it becomes more impressive still when you realized he almost took out George Washington with one.

Ferguson was reckoned to be the best shot in all of the British forces during the Revolutionary War. He also abided by several rules, the first of which was to never shoot a soldier who was unaware of his presence. So, yeah, sniping has changed a bit since then.

“Boo! Haha, but really, sorry.”

In September 1777, Ferguson was involved in the Battle of Brandywine. He was busy, you know, killing people, when he saw two officers ride up a path on horses. Not being one to potentially let this opportunity pass him by, Ferguson quickly ordered his men to crawl up and ambush them.

“But wait!” you say, “What about his first and most important rule?” Well, Ferguson remembered that and changed his mind, thinking that shooting the officers in an ambush would be “disgusting.” So instead, Ferguson did the only sensible thing a sniper would ever do: He stood up and made his position known to them.

“OK, now I just feel like a jerk.”

Noticing him, one of the officers quickly galloped off, giving Ferguson the clearest shot yet. To quote Ferguson, “I could have lodged half a dozen balls in or about him, before he was out of my reach.” But his own aversion to shooting a man in the back prevented him.

Later in the same battle, Ferguson was in the field hospital for an injured elbow when he learned that the officer he could have shot was General George Washington. Yeah, so if you really want the guy who saved the Revolution, look no further than the British sharpshooter whose conscience wouldn’t let him take out the father of America.

But he was only known as “That what’s-his-name who invented the Ferguson rifle.”

#4. The Germans Respected the Defeated Brits Too Much to Kill Them

It was 1940, and British and German ships were engaged in their favorite pastime of sinking each other. Considering how the odds were stacked against it in this particular battle, you already have to feel sorry for the small British warship the HMS Glowworm. You just wouldn’t expect the Nazis to agree.

“They are too adorable to kill.”

It started when Lt. Commander Gerard Roope and the crew of the Glowworm were surprised to find themselves toe to toe with the Nazi heavy cruiser the Admiral Hipper. Despite the fact that the Hipper was approximately three times larger than the Glowworm and far more heavily armed, Roope decided that the Hipper would look pretty good over his mantle, and engaged it.

Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-757-0038N-11A / Lange, Eitel / CC-BY-SA
“Don’t worry, lads! The worst they can do is kill us all easily.”

He fired all his torpedoes, which had precisely no effect on the massive ship in front of him (mostly because they missed). Taking on heavy fire, Roope would be damned if he’d go down without a fight, and said, “Prepare to ram!” Around that time, a sailor aboard the Hipper took this photo:

Maritime Quest
Presumably while shouting, “Holy shit, no way!”

That’s the Glowworm, on fire, trailing a pillar of smoke, coming around to try to head butt the German ship to death. Oh, and the Glowworm’s action stations siren was stuck in the “on” position the whole time, so it was whooping like a wounded animal as it made a sharp right turn straight into the Hipper’s side. The crash seriously damaged the Hipper’s hull, but sank the Glowworm, killing Roope and all but 31 crewmen in the ensuing chaos.

This left floating survivors at the mercy of three Nazi ships — vessels they’d just been shooting and/or ramming. So you’d think the heartless bastards probably machine-gunned them or something, right? Wrong.

They were afraid to anger Roope’s ghost.

The Hipper stuck around to rescue survivors, and if this sounds like common courtesy, keep in mind the Nazis were risking their own lives to do it. As far as anyone knew, the Glowworm had transmitted their position before going down and reinforcements might show up any second. In fact, that’s exactly what she had done, and the battleship Renown was on the way.

The rescued survivors were greatly surprised by the treatment they received on board, which was the same as wounded Germans were getting. Even more shocking, the Hipper’s captain came to see them and offered his compliments, telling them that he and his fellow officers couldn’t believe the fight they’d just had. To him, the Glowworm’s captain had balls that were hard as Krupp steel.

“Of every British man I’ve heard of, he was the least girlish.”

Afterward, the German captain wrote a letter to the Royal Navy in which he retold the story of what happened, again complimented Roope’s cojones, and recommended that Roope be awarded the Victoria Cross, which is more or less the equivalent of our Congressional Medal of Honor. In an odd twist of fate, the German captain’s honorable act ended up getting Roope a posthumous Victoria Cross, which was the first time it had ever been awarded on the basis of a recommendation from the enemy.

#3. Mochitsura Hashimoto Sinks Captain Charles McVay, Then Defends Him in Court

The USS Indianapolis, led by Captain Charles McVay, was ordered to head toward Guam by going through the Leyte Gulf. What the U.S. Navy didn’t tell him was the Leyte Gulf at the time was afreaking haven for Japanese submarines, and that ships passing through should do so with extreme caution.

“There’s a lot more fire and screaming on this leg of the trip than I’d expected.”

Lacking the intel that he was in unfriendly waters and exercising his order to perform evasive maneuvers “at his discretion,” McVay told the crew to just head straight forward, and bid them a good night. Unfortunately the Japanese submarine I-58, captained by Mochitsura Hashimoto, noticed the Indianapolis heading straight toward it and immediately sank it.

McVay survived and World War II ended, but soon thereafter he found himself in a court martial for negligence in the sinking of his ship (probably as a scapegoat to cover for the other Navy guys who completely botched the Indianapolis’ travel instructions and subsequent rescue).

“How could knowing about the packs of deadly, deadly submarines possibly have helped?”

In the trial, the U.S. Navy made the fairly unprecedented step of bringing in Hashimoto as a witness — yes, the freaking captain of the Japanese sub. He was brought in as a witness for the prosecution, expected to talk about the gross incompetence of the American captain, hoping he would seal McVay’s fate. Rather unexpectedly, when Hashimoto took the stand he outright defended McVay, stating that no matter what he had done, the Indianapolis still would have been hit by his torpedoes.

“I was just too damn good.”

The U.S. Navy still found McVay guilty regardless of what Hashimoto said, demoting him and basically ruining his naval career. Though Admiral Nimitz would wind up promoting McVay back to his old rank soon thereafter, the trial decision still stood — that is, until Hashimoto decided to help McVay out again. Hashimoto sent a letter to Senator John Warner, an action that helped lead to McVay being exonerated.

B-29s Over Korea
“You call it a letter, I call it a Word Torpedo.”

How to be Merciful – The 5 Step Process

“1. The first step in the mercy process is to be just.
This means at least two things for me:
Remove logs. Is there a log in my eye, some pride or anger that is distorting my moral perception?
Clarify the violation. Exactly what moral principle or ethical law has been violated? Often I find that I cannot answer this question with anything definite. I am merely irritated by someone else’s behavior, and the mercy process is not truly indicated; it is I who need to grow in understanding and love.
In some cases, I need as part of the Justice step to initiate the “Jesus grievance procedure” (see The Sermon on Forgiveness, [159:1] by going personally to the individual and lovingly confronting him or her.
In some cases, I need to go as far as involving groups with judicial authority. But I must at least be free of mental poisons, and I must be very clear about what violation I believe occurred. Being just is– as I interpret this paragraph at [28:6.2]–the personal virtue governing the experience of “group understanding.”
The hardest times are when an individual persistently refuses to acknowledge wrongdoing or to amend his ways. When this occurs, it blocks the ideal completion of the mercy process. Social authority may act, but unresolved issues await a higher stage of universe progress.
In a family, people learn to agree to disagree. If one member insists on the others’ meeting his or her own standards, freedom perishes or the family breaks asunder. When is an issue worth insisting on that much? Some issues are worth it. Not many.
2. Next, we must be fair.
Fairness means taking into account the antecedents that caused the unfortunate behavior in question. If there was a lapse in the effectiveness of spiritual motives, then it must be possible to understand the material motives whose history helps explain things.
Comprehend the motive. This is the prime requisite in understanding people. It is easy to forget to even wonder why a person did something; and it is easier to postulate motives than discover them. One of the most powerful prayers is, “Please, God, help me love this person.”
Praying for someone is more than scanning the individual’s name on a prayer list. It means savoring the relationship, waiting for illumination, and preparing to interact. It means sensing what God is doing in that person’s life and adding our own finite support for that enterprise. Some readers have stumbled over the recommendation in the Urantia Book about letting others know you are praying for them. It would be injurious to say, “I’m praying that God will help you overcome your obnoxious parenting style.” It probably would not even do to say, “Raising children is a tremendous undertaking, and I pray for divine wisdom and grace for you”; but one could surely manage to express something like, “I have really been enjoying praying for you lately.”
This part of the process requires us not only to see the good motives that may have been present in unfortunate behavior; but we also need compassionate regard for the less noble motives that are part of the common heritage of humankind. Fear, vanity, sex hunger, thirst for wealth and power, ease-seeking, problem-avoidance, insincerity–each of us has a portion of these. They have an evolutionary role to play, and overcoming them does not have to be a lonely struggle.
The discovery of motives is not a one way street; mercy is not something that one person does to another unilaterally regardless of the other’s knowledge, desire, and cooperation. People who comprehend each others’ motives achieve “mutual appreciation”.
3. Next comes patience.
Some faults will take more than a lifetime of work to eradicate. What rate of growth can be reasonably expected?
The word patience comes from the Latin word meaning to suffer. Patience begins in suffering, but it ends in service. Someone said that faith means knowing that the rules of the game are fair and that there are unexpected good surprises ahead.
Patience is an adjunct to “fraternal fellowship”
4. Then kindness.
We have to interact with people to show kindness. It is so easy to feel forgiving in the middle of a marvelous prayer session with the Father, but quite another matter to actually relate to a difficult mortal. Once I took a seminary course in evangelism. At the beginning of the term, we each selected a person to whom we wanted to present the gospel. One week, our assignment was very simple: love that person. All I will say is that it was a wonderful assignment.
5. Finally, we can be merciful in our relationships.
By the time we experience the flow of kindness, the normal inclination is to just forget about the original problem. It’s so much easier to let bygones be bygones. But mercy summarizes the whole process, remembers all the steps, and in the light of that whole sequence, to extend mercy. That is not the mercy of blindness, but the mercy of the realization of reality–the evolving dominance of goodness. An action that expresses trust, such as giving the person some responsibility, can manifest the conclusion of the mercy process.
Whenever I have done my best, taking as much time as needed, with each step in sequence, I have found rich rewards.
Let me try to describe an experience of mercy which captures an essential aspect of this process–that it has phases bound together in the unity of a mature act of faith. It does not only involve spiritual awareness, in that it does not focus alone on realities that are divine, eternal, and spiritual. Rather it brings the mortal, temporal, and unspiritual into relationship with the enduring values; it is an act of what I call our philosophic consciousness.
Suppose I am thinking of a person who has wronged me. (For the purpose of this example, I am making the unworldly assumption that there is no question about determining the moral character of the action in question.) As an unspiritual being, my first awareness of this act may be the (psychologic) pain of injury. I may feel anger or sadness, contempt or outrage, intensely or mildly. In prayer, God helps me to regain my perspective on my brother, to see his shining wonderfulness. I dwell in the beauty of that revelation, and my love for him returns in greater strength and radiance than before. I have reached the stage of spirituality. (If we can experience that joy together and practice kindness, we have truly fulfilled the ideal of spiritual communion of step 4.)
But now I go one step further. I recall that ugly shadow of the evil that was done to me. It is jarring to juxtapose that shadow beside the beautiful, indwelt creation that has just been revealed to me more brightly. I think a bit more: there is a reason why that evil act occurred.
Some compulsion of material causes, some immaturity of creature will has manifested. This action is a part of the evolutionary growth of this brother, part of an early chapter of his success story. (I am also assuming for the purposes of this example that the person in question is a believer.) His error exposes part of the subterranean geography that needs adjustment, settling, harmonization. I can apply my prayer for my brother at that exposed spot. I can have confidence in the eventual triumph of my brother– and the Supreme–with regard to this weakness.
By this time, my image of my brother has changed. About the nucleus of the indwelt and divinely bestowed personality, I see the slowly evolving self. I identify with the evolutionary process of progress. I think how glad I will be one day, when we are all so much more lovable, to have begun to know and love this brother in the mortal life. I give thanks for that privilege.
Note: now my awareness is complex, not simple. I see this person neither as a monster nor as an angel, but as growing around a nucleus of God-given perfection. To be able to balance– creatively and progressively–the multiple phases of my brother’s reality in my awareness of him exercises a new muscle. Mercy requires the exercise of this muscle. I call it a philosophic consciousness when fact and value are held together in proper balance.
In any human attempt at spiritual ministry the danger of self-righteous condescension is present; but that danger cannot be avoided by refusing to undertake the mercy process. On the contrary, the discoveries and growth to which the process leads are a powerful antidote for pride. It takes humility and faith and an appetite for spiritual adventure to receive mercy. On either side, we grow in partnership with God. Who of us has not needed, does not now need, and will not continue to need to receive mercy and to practice it? “What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

I chose this article because it simplifies the dignified and glorified connotation of mercy, and applies it to real life. Not only does this article apply it to real life, but explains how a person can become more merciful, or even merciful at all, in their personal day-to-day lives. The writer offers five simple steps in how to be merciful, and what is special about each of these steps is that they are all forms of mercy. Being just, kind, patient, and fair are all characteristics of a merciful person. With this article, it is safe to say that it is possible for anyone to grow a little more merciful in their lives.

Might mercy be the root other niceties?

Woman shows incredible mercy as her son’s killer moves in next door
UPDATED: 09:49 EST, 8 June 2011

A mother whose only child was shot dead has shown the ultimate forgiveness – by inviting her son’s killer to live next door.
Mary Johnson, 59, now lives in the apartment adjoining the home of 34-year-old Oshea Israel and they share a porch.
In February 1993, Mrs Johnson’s son, Laramiun Byrd, 20, was shot in the head by 16-year-old Israel after an argument at a party in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Love thy neighbour: Mary Johnson, whose son Laramiun Byrd was shot dead by Oshea Israel (R) in 1993 now lives next door to Israel in Minneapolis
Love thy neighbour: Mary Johnson, whose son Laramiun Byrd was shot dead by Oshea Israel (R) in 1993 now lives next door to Israel in Minneapolis
Israel, who was involved with drugs and gangs, was tried as an adult and sentenced to 25 and a half years. He served 17 before being released.
He now lives back in the neighborhood where he grew up – next door to the mother of the young man he murdered.
Mrs Johnson said she originally wanted justice and to see Israel locked up for what he had done.
She said: ‘My son was gone. I was angry and hated this boy, hated his mother.
‘[The murder] was like a tsunami. Shock. Disbelief. Hatred. Anger. Hatred. Blame. Hatred. I wanted him to be caged up like the animal he was.’
She decided to found a support group and counselled mothers whose children had been killed and encouraged them to reach out to the families of their murderers, who were victims of another kind.
‘Hurt is hurt, it doesn’t matter what side you are on,’ she said.
Then just a few years ago, the 59-year-old teacher and devout Christian, asked if she could meet Israel at Minnesota’s Stillwater state prison.
She said she felt compelled to see if there was a way in which she could forgive her son’s killer.
At first he refused but then nine months later, changed his mind. Israel said he was shocked by the fact she wanted to meet him.
He said: ‘I believe the first thing she said to me was, ”Look, you don’t know me. I don’t know you. Let’s just start with right now.”
‘And I was befuddled myself.’
The pair met regularly after that. When Israel was released from prison around 18 months ago, Mrs Johnson introduced him to her landlord – who with her blessing, invited Israel to move into the building.
Mrs Johnson and Israel are now close friends, a situation that she puts down to her strong religious beliefs but says she also has a selfish motive.
She said: ‘Unforgiveness is like cancer. It will eat you from the inside out.
‘It’s not about that other person, me forgiving him does not diminish what he’s done. Yes, he murdered my son – but the forgiveness is for me.’
Mary Johnson even wears a necklace with a two-sided locket – on one side are photos of herself and her son; the other has a picture of Israel.
Israel admits he still struggles with the extraordinary situation he finds himself in.
He said: ‘I haven’t totally forgiven myself yet, I’m learning to forgive myself. And I’m still growing toward trying to forgive myself.’
Israel now hopes to prove himself to the mother of the man he killed.
He works at a recycling plant during the day and goes to college at night. He says he’s determined to payback Mrs Johnson’s clemency by contributing to society.
He visits prisons and churches to talk about forgiveness and reconciliation. Mrs Johnson often joins him and they tell their story together.
He added: ‘A conversation can take you a long way.’

I chose this article in order to demonstrate an application of mercy in modern society. This woman’s son was murdered, and she originally wanted the murderer behind bars for what he had done. The mother was filled with hatred, that was not in this man’s favor, she hated him so much that she even hated his mother. She then suddenly felt compelled to visit her son’s assailant, and so she did. They soon began meeting regularly at the prison and became pretty good friends. The mother is able to forgive this man due to her strong religious beliefs. This article is not only a modern application of mercy, but also a complete blend of different meanings of the word mercy, too. These definitions include forgiveness, compassion, and godliness.




An Analysis of Shakespeare’s Take on Mercy

“The Quality of Mercy

The quality of mercy is not strain’d.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
It is enthroned in the heart of kings;
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.” – William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s piece on mercy is certainly diction heavy, in fact, diction is the most outstanding aspect of this piece. Shakespeare first began by describing how mercy “is not strain’d” inferring that mercy is not a trait that comes from difficulty, grief, or struggles. This is evidenced by the following line where Shakespeare states that mercy drops like “gentle rain from heaven”, meaning that mercy is good, pure, and highly valued. The next line that proves Shakespeare’s considerable value for mercy comes when he claims that “it becomes the throned monarch better than his crown”. In this significant line, Shakespeare declares that mercy is much more powerful than the rulers themselves. Shakespeare continues to glorify mercy further by asserting that mercy is “the attribute to awe and majesty”, suggesting that mercy is a component of these very respected qualities that a king is required to have. Shakespeare concludes his piece by expressing that mercy “is enthroned in the heart of kings” and “is an attribute to God himself”. These two quotes compliment each other well in the sense that kings are supposed to be godlike and gods are often portrayed as being merciful and compassionate. Shakespeare then wraps up this correlation by voicing that “mercy seasons justice”, speculating that mercy lies within a ruler’s compassion and that this compassion is the root to their righteousness.

I chose this piece by William Shakespeare because of the balance the poem presents, by balance I mean that the variety of expressions of the word mercy. Shakespeare seamlessly bonds all the primary definitions and connotations of mercy into one piece that accurately describes the term. Not only does Shakespeare manage to mention the primary definitions and connotations, but also equally distribute the use of each expression.



M-“y men have him here under their pikes, and I shall command them to kill him without mercy.” 

E-“nemy of Amadis of Gaul and of the whole countless troop of his descendants; odious to me now are all the profane stories of knight-errantry; now I perceive my folly, and the peril into which reading them brought me; now, by God’s mercy schooled into my right senses, I loathe them.”

R-“eligious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow creatures happy.”

C-“hristmas is not a time nor season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”

Y-“es, yes; Mercy is good and devout, I know.”

In this blog I tried to blend art and literature in a visual form. Each of the five letters of mercy have been split up and arranged into a column where I then assigned excerpts from literature gathered from sources to be named. Each quote corresponds to each letter, for example the letter C quote won’t start with the letter D, it will start with part of the quote that makes it valid. I also tried incorporating each aspect of how mercy is used in literature, too. For example, I included religion and godliness in humans, compassion, death, and its connotation of being such an honorable attribute.




Mercy – Photo Essay






I contrasted the word mercy with its opposite mercilessness in this photo essay. The first seven pictures pertain to associations made with the word mercy. These associations include compassion, love, good will, godliness, forgiveness, and clemency. Mercy has come a long way in its number of synonyms and meanings, since it was only a religious word to describe a people’s all powerful God. The last seven pictures are mercy’s opposite associations, they are mercilessness’s associations. These include animosity, cruelty, a lack of compassion, malevolence, and violence. Mercilessness, just like mercy, has too come a long way in expanding its meaning and synonyms, since it used to be a religious word to describe an unforgiving God.
















He’s in control…

He needed reassurance. He had the utmost confidence in understanding their relationship. Their attraction could only be described in astronomical terms. The two of them were suns of equal mass caught in each other’s gravitational pull.  It seemed benign, but further examination had shown that they were at each other’s mercy. Only he knew this. He too was aware of the danger this sentiment would bring, as their high school lives came to a close and new beginnings would divide them. He both dreaded and decided that it was best to take action as quickly as possible, as he stepped into a fortune teller’s store in the heart of the city.

“I’ve been expecting you” the clairvoyant proclaimed.

He said nothing as he walked up to her mystical table, took a seat across from her, and handed over fifty dollars for a look into the future. Afterwards his mind started trying to figure out where he should begin.

“I know exactly why you are here” she declared, “but what’s important is that you know and understand why you are here, so, where would you like to begin?”.

After what felt like an eternity, his purpose became clear.

“I need to know how she will do, if she’ll turn out how her and I both desire”, he stated.

“She will do good. Her passion burns like fire carried by the wind” she professed.

The fortune teller went on to provide a look at her higher education. According to her readings, she would hit rough patches which fell heavy on his conscious, but was soon lifted once hearing of her excellent performance afterwards.

“She finished her schooling and was hired at a hospital, working in the ER, saving lives just like she wanted” the fortune teller said.

For a moment he was overwhelmed with joy and gloom and at the same time the he and the fortune teller concluded that he was now in control. It was his 51% aiming to validate the 49%’s fate. His skills of deduction were incomparable, only with his abdication would she fulfill the fortune teller’s prophecy. He thanked the medium, walked out the door, knowing exactly what had to be done.

Mercy, explored!


















-Merci is French for “thank you”

“Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge.” – William Shakespeare

Mercy – Etymology

Its Etymology:

Late 12th century: “God’s forgiveness of his creatures’ offenses”

9th century: “reward, gift; kindness, grace, pity” from Old French mercit, merci

6th century: applied to the heavenly reward of those who show kindness to the helpless, from Church Latin

Literary examples:

“Master Blifil fell very short of his companion in the amiable quality of mercy; but he as greatly exceeded him in one of a much higher kind, namely, in ju

stice: in which he followed both the precepts and example of Thwackum and Square; for though they would both make frequent use of

the word mercy, yet it was plain that in reality Square held it to be inconsistent with the rule of right; and Thwackum was for doing justice, and leaving mercy to heaven.” The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding

“Look this day in mercy and blessing on Thy humble people,

and graciously hear us, spare us, and have mercy upon us.” War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

“My men have him here under their pikes, and I shall command them to kill him without mercy.” Robin Hood by J. Walker McSpadden

In social and legal context, mercy refers to compassionate behavior coming from those in positions of power and control.

It is also commonly used in religious context, especially as a characteristic of a god or deity.