It is important to be true to your beliefs whatever they mean or however you define them. As long as your beliefs are sound, non-threatening physically or emotionally to another and places no one in harms’ way.
Most importantly there are no reasons to doubt or disregard beliefs which motivate you towards feeling empathy for others. Empathy is not to be confused with sympathy. Empathy dwells in the heart, prompted by emotions and connectedness. When a situation arises that requires its attention, it comes forth to the surface. How do you deal with your empathy?
My empathy lies in helping others, always in time of need or not, such as, assisting a parishioner up the stairs during communion, holding the door for another and not taking it personally if a thank you does not follow, offering to assist in various tasks around church and sometimes at home, etc.
I often have feelings of helplessness and a longing to have others come to my aid in time of need or not, such as, after my shoulder surgery, during mom, my mom’s chemo, etc. I, alone am to blame for lack of empathy during these times. It was difficult to ask for help or accept empathy from another because my self-control was challenged.
I do however, find it extremely annoying and aggravating when others, especially those in the field of servicing choose to place an alarm system around their hearts, conveniently forgetting the code and forcing empathy to idle in darkness.
There are times when a slap upside the head to the one ignorant of helping another, would make me feel better. But… I do not care to have the Po-Po called on my behalf nor do I subscribed to might equals right to get my way or better yet, who am I to project unto others what I would do.
I do not have the right to react in any other way but to help as best as I can in any given situation.
3 thoughts on “Brother, can you spare some empathy?”
Years ago, I was going to the post office and ended up behind an old gentleman walking very slowly. Instead of getting impatient and walking onto the grass to get around him, I slowed down. It dawned on me that I finally understood, at least a little, the pain that can come just walking. I didn’t need to sympathize with him, I needed to empathize with his aging joints. I understood and that allowed me some patience, rather than simply ignoring him and pushing past.
Love the “alarm system around their hearts.” I’m trying to remember my own code to the system.
Ben, thanks for sharing your thoughts and you have not forgotten your code! I’m afraid empathy is diminishing from society as “me, myself and I” become the norm.
Sadly, you appear to be correct. It’s too bad, too. Me, myself, and I can be a very lonely place.