Compassion is probably the one thing that separates the best kind of people from the worst.
But try as I might, I’ve been finding it impossible to feel any sort of compassion over the reported killing of Jihadi John, the British ISIL executioner believed to have died in a US air strike in Syria on Thursday.
I think we can all remember seeing stills of Mohammed Emwazi, poised over his hooded victims, knife in hand ready to kill them.
It was his fame that brought him down in the end, or perhaps infamy would be a more accurate word.
Those films made him a symbol for the ISIL jihadis to rally round — an emblem for anyone looking to stick it to the West.
But while I can’t feel compassion for this loss of life, similarly I can’t say the news of his death — or at least the news that the Pentagon is 99 per cent certain they got their man — also had me jumping for joy.
Perhaps it’s because of the man this guy should have been.
The man who was brought up in London, educated at a Christian school, went on to university and left with a degree in IT and business management from the University of Westminster.
At 21 he was beginning to carve out a career in sales for an IT company in Kuwait.
In the six years after that he should have been thinking about promotion, perhaps a family, and then looking forward to a life lived to make his family proud.
But someone got to him, twisted his mind and made Mohammed Emwazi into Jihadi John, one of four British-accented kidnappers nicknamed The Beatles by their hostages.
He did not make his family proud. He did not live a normal, boring life like the rest of us.
He ended up hating the country in which he grew up, plus its people and its ideology.
Instead, aged just 27, his apparent death has brought joy to the families of the people he butchered and at least two governments.
Last year his family said they wished him dead, so perhaps it’s for them we should spare some compassion.