In recent months, I have been mulling over the meaning of empathy and pray to gain deeper insight into the subject.
I will like to approach empathy from two perspectives – looking away from self and connecting with the feelings and dispositions of other people.
A lot of us run our daily schedule like machine set on ‘auto-run’. We barely have time to breathe. The daily realities of life make it sometimes difficult to simply put a call across to check on a friend just for Auld Lang Syne.
Typically, we dash out in a hurry and retire fagged out.
As we grow and make progress in life, there will be more demands of our time and as we build our capacities to accommodate the new, we must not fail to build the capacities of our soul to remain ‘human’.
Sometimes, we just need to pause and look through the smile of our neighbour.
A few minutes of conversation with a neighbour or colleague can make miles of difference in helping them go through the day.
Viewing life through the lens of another person is another way we can approach empathy. When people fall below expectation or do dumb stuff, we blame them easily and assume we are better off.
Sometimes I ask myself; ‘would I have acted differently from someone who ‘acted up’ given the same circumstance? I doubt I would without the help of God and man.
Empathy is not the same thing as condoning wrong behaviours, but if well appropriated, it can bring about true repentance.
As life becomes busier, demands of everyday life will latch more on our already limited time, hence the need to increase our capacity to keep our soul alive and remain ‘human’.
We must not lose touch of the fact that we are all work in progress.
While we do not condone wrong behaviours, let’s also put ourselves in the shoes of other people and be kinder to others and to ourselves.