I’m always on my soapbox about the importance of empathy because I feel that it is one of the most important qualities to possess.
I always find myself deleting statuses I post, staying silent when I read things I disagree with or backing out of any controversial conversation. I tell myself it’s just not worth it to dispute with people who are closed-minded and have so much hate in their hearts.
But I see so much racism, homophobia, misogyny, and discrimination that it hurts me to my core. I see biased and unreliable articles, videos, and statistics shared and discussed. I see hatred, ignorance, and lack of empathy every single day.
What makes you better than your neighbor? Your black neighbor? Your immigrant neighbor? Your homosexual neighbor? Your neighbor of another religion?
What gives you the right to say a victim is lying about sexual violence? What gives you the right to say when a victim should come forward if at all, or how they should do it?
Are YOU walking in the shoes of these people? Are YOU living their life? Facing their obstacles? Their struggles? Their fears?
That’s where empathy comes in. That’s where you try to understand what obstacles your neighbor goes though and has gone through. That’s where you offer love and support regardless of understanding.
That’s how you become a kinder, more empathetic person.
I encourage everyone to think twice before you share an article, comment on a post, or engage in a conversation that you don’t agree with. I encourage those of Christian faith to remember that Jesus loves and stood with the type of people you hate and that he didn’t specify when he said: “Love thy neighbor.” I encourage everyone to put yourself in your neighbor’s shoes. I encourage everyone to love more and hate less.