“I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.” – Roger Ebert
An interesting study in the field of human nature suggests that humans are soft wired to experience another’s plight as we are experiencing it ourselves. Empathy has its roots deeper in human nature. Mirror neurons, as the scientists call it are behind the chemistry that is needed to experience what others are going through. Mirror neurons make you go through the same feeling as others just by seeing them. Empathy is a human reaction which arises after having an illusion of being in the same situation as you see the other person. Being civilized, it is utmost important for you to stand in someone else’s shoes before being judgmental.
“Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.” Daniel H. Pink
Empathy is being able to feel what others are feeling. While working with customers, peers, boss, one has to develop empathetic skills by respecting their work. Through this you can advance social progress, because empathizing is more like the process of connecting. Empathy essentially means understanding people, animal or the natural surroundings thus making the world a better place.
We, the civilized people do not bother while hurting others. We never revisit the agony which is caused to other people by us. If the same harm is done to us we behave quite differently. This deficit in empathy can be called as self absorption. In order to change your perception about the reaction to different situation others are in, you need to expand your consciousness. Thus, walking the spiritual path in other person’s shoes refraining from passing a judgment. Treading this path, you can easily feel other’s pain as if its your own.
“Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It’s the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else’s pain is as meaningful as your own.” – Barbara Kingsolver
“Movies that encourage empathy are more effective than those that objectify problems.” – Roger Ebert
Media has profound effect on civilized mind. It is one of the powerful tool which can create revolution. When mirror neurons in humans can create exactly same effect as other person, visualizing an actor crying triggers crying response from the audience. In order to create a generation which is empathetic, it is important to create media which encourages empathy instead of objectification of the problem. Here, bringing out the humane side of the problem is necessary.
“If you find yourself saying ‘But I’m just being honest’, chances are you’ve just been unkind. Honesty doesn’t heal. Empathy does.”- Dan Waldschmidt
As per one famous Sufi saying it is necessary to let the words which you want to speak pass through three gates. The first one would ask whether those words are true? The second would ask are those words necessary to be spoken and the third gate would ask are those words kind?
The words by now would have already become empathetic. Honesty is a good trait to have but while being honest, you cannot lose kindness.
“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” – Henry David Thoreau
Religion, Institutions, Nationalism are just reasons for not being empathetic. The fellow human beings, the creatures and the surroundings have one thing in common, their connection with each other. An instance of looking into each other’s eyes and understanding the pain, can be a miracle. It is mainly because that would invoke the natural connection which you have with the fellow human being.
Judging is easy, but understanding other person’s perspective requires a painstaking effort. We must understand before we judge.
Once your spirituality takes you to the level of understanding other person’s point of view, you are practicing empathy.
“Have compassion and empathy in your heart. Many people are suffering deep emotional anguish beneath the surface of their lives, and smile even as they hurt inside”. – Jim Palmer
Compassion and empathy are at the center stage of a happy life. Deep emotional anguish can be devastating but it’s the compassion which would bring the lives together. Words can hurt but the actions showing empathy would heal anyone’s life who is deeply suffering emotionally.
“Traits like humility, courage, and empathy are easily overlooked – but it’s immensely important to find them in your closest relationships.” – Laura Linney
Relationships are very difficult to handle when there is no humility, courage or empathy left in them. In the world where human beings are just a part of some superficial race to earn money, these important traits have been overlooked. When relationships go beyond repair, instead of identifying the underlying problems, empathy, humility and courage would help a great deal in healing it.
I have a great deal of empathy for anyone who is having a hard time. I believe this ability to see another’s view point has served me well as a writer – Alex Flinn
What is that you would offer when you see a person suffer emotionally? The best thing to be offered is your empathy. Seeing the world from his viewpoint and understanding his emotional state would be the most appropriate thing to be done at that point. It would help you as a person. It would give you immense satisfaction as you have understood a fellow human being, made a connection with him without judging him. This particular act of empathy would take you a different level, it would make you more HUMANE.
Thanks of Reading.