Empathy is Hard

Empathy is complex, and it might be difficult to describe in today’s world. It seems as though it’s a rare quality to find in people with everyone wrapped up in themselves and social media. Empathy isn’t something that is glorified in the news media. Instead, it is condemned and pushed to the side. Why try to feel and understand what someone else is going through when you can just scroll to the next video or hate another group because someone told you to?

I’m here to tell you that empathy is required for our species to survive, and it isn’t easy. My last post was about despair, how I felt it, and how I could understand how people think/feel when they’re going through it. Watching someone in the depths of despair isn’t easy, especially when I’ve felt the same lows they are going through. Sure, the easy thing to do would be to ignore it and distract myself by endless scrolling through news and/or social media, but that isn’t something you do when you love someone. No matter how much it hurts, we have to be there for that person, to be their rock, their shoulder to cry on.

With despair and empathy, guilt seems to follow closely behind. It’s not necessarily our guilt, although it can be that way if we were part of the cause that is causing the person to be in despair. When we’re in despair, we tend to feel guilty for burdening other people with our current moods/feelings, especially, the ones we love. I can speak on this from personal experience, and I’ve been on both sides of the equation. I do not want people to feel guilty to have feelings, no matter what they are. If someone I love who is in despair, I want to be there for them, so I am. They should not feel guilty, but I understand why since I’ve felt the same way.

Empathy is a useful tool that allows us to understand why people do what they do and why they feel how they feel. With these new generations addicted to social media and the idea that they are the center of everyone’s universe, empathy is becoming a rarity. People cannot understand why someone doesn’t believe the same things they do. While our empathy can be weaponized by people with ulterior motives, it is needed for the survival of our species. When everyone is right, no one can be. I mean, technically, someone’s right, but that doesn’t matter to everyone else. People need to feel something other than what they want to feel and want everyone to feel for/like them. Life isn’t worth living when we’re the only ones in our world. This isn’t easy.

Feeling and understanding what people are going through is uncomfortable to us, but just imagine how it is for the other person living it? We don’t want to because we don’t want to feel sad or empty. We want to feel awesome all the fucking time, but that isn’t reality. It’s difficult to put ourselves in other people’s shoes when we don’t even want to step outside of our own shoes into the real world. Why pay attention to the real world when it sucks? Well, we live in it! The people running the shit don’t give two fucks about anyone but themselves and their crew. The shit show is going to hit your doorstep whether you like it or not, whether you bury your head in the sand or see it coming. If we do not have respect for each other and learn to empathize, even with people we do not like or agree with, there’s no hope for fighting back those who are using our distractions against us to quietly take control.

Some people would rather live in a world where all of the decisions are made for them, that is, until they do not like those decisions. When we refuse to have empathy for others, we shouldn’t be surprised when people do not have empathy for us. This does not compute with people with narcissistic tendencies, as they do not understand how/why someone would disagree with them. The generation of entitlement and narcissism is here. Can those of us with empathy break through, or will it be a catastrophic lesson to others why empathy was so important, but it’s too late?

Empathy, like life, is hard, but we can’t just not do it. We have to be there for others, or they won’t be there for us. Love cannot exist without empathy, so that makes it an easy decision for me: empathize, even when it hurts.


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