Empathy isn’t sympathy necessarily. It’s the ability to recognize the presence of an emotional state even if you don’t understand why it’s present or what caused it. A society, a country, a world cannot grow closer together if the parts that create it don’t come to recognize what makes it. Empathy is a great beginning to making that growth start.
“That’s not my problem.”
“Those aren’t my people”
“Why should I care?”
These are the thoughts that counteract the very action required to start to care. We should care because we are human and in many cases if we can replace the object of scrutiny with our own image we might begin to see why it matters.
But that’s hard to do for various reasons. It’s not an easy thing to take ourselves out of our own comfort zone and to force ourselves to be uncomfortable for a second. Sometimes that second is all it takes to learn a little bit of empathy.
To realize sometimes what’s really important in the moment isn’t always about ourselves.