• Miss E

Why we need empathy.


The world is not a fair place. Most, if not all of us, have first hand experience in this matter. You didn't get that promotion, even though you were the most qualified, logical and best choice. Maybe you got verbally abused on your walk home from the train station last night, when you were minding your own business. Or perhaps your friends exclude you from activities and you're not really sure why. And we know this is all because THE WORLD IS HORRIBLE. But really - it's not horrible. It's okay, but let's help make it a bit better, shall we?


Empathy is important. It helps you take into account other people's circumstances, feelings and actions - even though they do not directly relate to your personal experience. Just because your personal experience is dissimilar to someone else's - doesn't mean yours is right. Just because you've never seen a woman get groped on the train - doesn't mean it isn't happening regularly. Just because you worked hard and created a successful business - doesn't mean everyone who works hard will be rightfully rewarded. And whilst, I believe you make your own luck - I also deeply empathise with those who have it tougher than me. Whether it's 'their fault' or not, is irrelevant.

Sometimes logic will cancel out the opportunity to feel empathy.

Well, I could feel empathy for this man with lung cancer - but he smoked for 30 years - so he deserves it.

Empathy - neutralised. Is that really the kind of world we want to live in? Cold and heartless, not taking into account the complexity of each individual's human experience and utterly unique set of circumstances. Just because you have never been unfairly treated due to your race - doesn't mean it doesn't have an immense impact on other people. Lots of people. And do they not deserve empathy? Maybe we should tell them just to get over it, get on with life like the rest of us and stop complaining. WHAT A FUN LOVELY WORLD THAT IS TO LIVE IN.

I've heard so many people complain about how distasteful it is to have homeless people clogging up the streets. Our lives are so inconvenienced because we have to navigate around their shivering bodies lying on the footpath. And we tell ourselves we have a right to be annoyed, because they probably deserve to be homeless. Their life choices and actions have lead them here. You, on the other hand, are smart and successful through your own doing. You deserve to walk on a footpath free from the smell of urine and rotting sleeping bags.

Let's get things straight - it doesn't matter what you have done in life. What mistakes you've made. The terrible choices. Cruel things. Stupid remarks you've made.

Everyone.

Deserves.

Empathy.

Yes, even that serial killer who slaughtered all those people. He deserves empathy. Because how messed up is he? I feel pretty sorry for someone like that. And yes, even that kid who bullied you through highschool and made your life miserable. I bet he wasn't actually having a great time either. I even feel empathy for the dick head who cut me off on the road and nearly made me crash my damn car. Because I bet something pretty bad must've been going on in his life to be such a dick.

So here I am - crying when I empathise with the robots on Westworld - letting you all know that it's okay to have empathy. It's necessary to have empathy. Even if it makes you feel feelings you'd rather not have. Because I seriously believe it will help us to make the world a better place, when we can relate to everyone else in it.


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