Empathy. Daily word prompt. 21/5/19
In a world where we are constantly running around trying to achieve all of our own goals and fulfill all of our own needs, empathy for our fellow man seems to have been forgotten.
We heckle and degrade those around us that do not conform or fit into a specific niche. We belittle and fear those who are different or outside of the norms we have carved for ourselves and we refuse to integrate into the multicultural world we find ourselves living in today.
The phrase ‘I totally understand what you mean’ has become a throw-a-way comment used to placate and infer empathy where little exists. We do not truly empathise with each other anymore, we lie and pretend in order to save face and appear compassionate to those around us.
Empathy is complex. Truly being able to place your own viewpoint and mindset into that of another is possibly the most difficult thing to attempt to achieve yet the simple act of trying says far more about a person than any other trait I know and the act alone can be of much solice to those in need.
No one can be totaly empathetic, no one can ever experience life through the same lens as you or I have. That is the nature of life and the ever tangled web we weave; each and every interaction causing a new twist or turn that no one else has had. But that does not mean we can never hope to have empathy for our fellow man.
Empathy does not come from knowing how another feels about an event or situation, it does not come from being closely bonded with those needing understanding. Empathy comes from knowing how you would react in that situation, knowing how you would feel if it were happening to you.
We are not all that dissimilar, us humans. Some of us have thinner skins than others, more or less sensitive to life’s knocks but most of us have a strong sense of right and wrong, most of us know when someone is hurting and needs empathy and comfort. We sense it.
Empathy doesn’t need an all encompassing knowledge of what a person is or isn’t going through, it doesn’t need to know details or backstory and it doesn’t need total understanding. All it takes is enough care to notice when someone is in need and enough patience to listen to their story.
You don’t need to understand it all, you just have to want to try.