During the course of the week, I was exposed to different situations that lacked empathy and I decided to speak to some people in order to solicit their views on the topic. According to my good friend Google, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
I believe empathy is more than that. It is to wholeheartedly immerse yourself in a given situation as though it was YOUR situation.
We live in a very individualistic society and I presume that this leads to a lack of empathy. It is quite difficult to fully place yourself in someone’s shoes when you have been conditioned to constantly think “ME” and “I” as opposed to “We” and “Us”
Contrary to popular belief, people that aren’t empathetic are not the bad guys and here’s why:
Although everyone is born with the capacity for empathy, some people have a limited capacity of it.
Some people are overwhelmed, they want to empathize but they do not know how to go about it.
Lastly, some people genuinely can not relate to your situation and this might make it hard for them to truly be in tune with your feelings.
The good news is that just like any other skill, empathy can be developed.
We need to think more collectively to reduce selfish thoughts and feelings.
We also need to understand that not everyone is always going to react how we want them to.