I am not a philosopher or a teacher, but when I get thinking about ways this world could be a better place – “empathy” is one thing that I feel has the power to do so.
As individuals we all have our struggles, be it difficult circumstances at office, at home, family tragedies or emotional battles. It is many times not very easy or possible to help others in difficulty primarily because the fix may not be within our reach. This is when I feel empathy is a big enabler. If one can be empathetic, it can totally change the way we perceive the situation of the other person and therefore, change our response to the person in way which makes the other feel better about sharing it with us.
Being empathetic is easier said than done. It is extremely hard to relate to a situation we have not faced or are not in. And it’s not really our fault always, but what is important is to be conscious of the impact of the instance on the other person and the best way to do so is to take a moment and think how you would have felt if you were in the same situation.
Why all this ramble about lack of empathy? Why do I feel it is missing?
Many a times, when I have spent time with friends, colleagues or heard about people from others, I have found that the focus of many conversations/ story telling is the lighter side of people’s misery, we spend a good amount of time entertaining ourselves with the same and don’t pay heed to how the other person feels about the whole thing. The same holds true when on sharing good news, many a times, the reaction of happiness is very superficial and sometimes, even raises a streak of jealousy. This makes the whole conversation a waste. It would only add to one’s happiness if people share our happiness with a bit more empathy.
All in all, if we all take a moment to empathize with others, conversations would be more meaningful and the feelings conveyed would be worthwhile. Being cognizant of other’s experiences also enrich our lives, make difficulties look less daunting and small joys in life more valuable. Empathy would also drive more responsible actions by us where we can empathize with the impact of our actions on others and therefore, make the world a better place.