Saturday, April 5, 2014

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to recognize emtions and feelings that are being shown by someone else. As humans, we are pretty aware of our own hurt and sufferings. We know when we are down, when we are sad, and generally, we know why. It's a bit tougher to be aware of how others are feeling. Empathy, my friends, is not that easy.

I think, naturally, a lot of us have the attitude that "if it didn't happen to me, why should I care?". You should care because one day, it could happen to you. You should care because you will need people to care about and for you, and to stand with you in your times of need. You should care because you were born with a working heart. It's beating, right now, and that should be enough of a reminder that you are capable of making a difference, of helping someone, of spreading awareness.

I have talked about this before, but I think we can all begin to possess empathy if we paid attention a little bit more. If we looked in the eyes of the people we interact with- whether it's a coworker or a cashier at the grocery store. If we begin to notice their pain, their distress, perhaps we can all become a bit more empathetic.

Why is empathy important? Because we're all out here just trying to survive. If we could show some empathy toward one another, we could make life a little happier and easier. We need to stand together, not against each other.

I truly believe that when we begin to have empathy, to open our hearts towards others suffering, we become kinder, more gentle people. That kindness will spread, and it will come right back our way.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” - Leo Buscalgia

 “The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other.” Meryl Streep


3 comments:

Robin said... Add Reply

So often we just can't relate if it isn't something that we've experienced. So... we need to stretch ourselves and imagine what it would be like. I think people with better imaginations tend to be more empathetic... but we all can do it and should try.

Lucy Sparks said... Add Reply

Your words are so true. I was a 911 dispatcher for a long time and truly know the meaning of empathy. My world is a better place because I can be empathetic to those around me. It's not hard at all to show kindness to others. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

M. J. Joachim said... Add Reply

Empathy is such an important emotion, because it helps us connect to each other in real and meaningful ways. Thank you for sharing such honest thoughts about empathy today. The power of being able to understand and truly relate to people is often underestimated.

MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
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