“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.
May I invite your comments on my forthcoming book?
“Life is a race. If you don’t run fast, you will be trampled”!
Yes! Indeed, once one starts toddling or even before that the race begins and one keeps wondering “What made me lose and the other one win, the same race?”One questions oneself amidst the darkest deep nights until one gets no answer and finally blames it up to the destiny. One often becomes uncomfortable when one thinks about the failures one had especially when one doesn’t get valid reasons for the same.
But we tend to forget these monologues – thanks to the mundane activities of one’s life. But if we dig deeper, the exercise has the power to take us closer to the solutions. This book aims to give you an insight into life which is a mixture of ups and downs, failures and successes. Once we understand this and accept the reality, it no longer remains a jigsaw puzzle. Life is journey. All our goals are but milestones, and we need to enjoy the journey.
At a certain stage of life, one tends to compare oneself with others. It is indeed a natural tendency wherein one often measures one’s success, joy or happiness by comparing these with those of others’. And then confronts a battery of questions like below:-
“Why am I not rich like him? Though we studied together and are best friends how come he/she has achieved what I could just think of? What makes him/her so very desirable? In short, one tends to become jealous of other’s success. Jealousy, certainly, is best avoided but if nailed properly could give us the desired results like success, happiness, prosperity and also peace of mind.
Through this book, I have tried to help the reader understand themselves better to ward off various negative influences and personality development needs. These hinder your chances to succeed. The book addresses the personality issues, and shows the path towards improvement. It will help to elevate your self confidence to an untapped level.
The book also throws light on important habits, skills and behavioral traits which successful people possess and practice. The contents have been divided into following chapters.
“A bad attitude is like a flat tyre! If you don’t change it, you will never reach anywhere”!
Attitude defines the major part of your personality. It makes you who you are. It is the way you respond to what you face in your life. Thus, a positive person seeks opportunities in the various hurdles he/she encounters whereas a negative person finds faults with every situation. This book will help you identify your attitude and learn the ways to correct the flaws by adopting certain procedures.
Today’s world is a shrunken world. Globalization has brought us closer but you should have a knack of able communication with the world around you. Both, verbal and written communication skills are a must you to understand others and to express yourself effectively. This book aims primarily at pointing whether you lack these skills and, if yes, the various ways to improve on these. We, also, look forward to hone your existing communication skills through this book.
- Interpersonal skills: – Man is a social animal. We continuously interact with the family, colleagues, friends and society around us. We have to work with those around and seek harmonious relations with all. Interpersonal skills come into the picture when we need to build and maintain cordial relations with the society. Through this book we take you to the various methods which would help you imbibe the necessary interpersonal skills.
- Continuous Improvement: – Stagnation doesn’t breed success! Is it not true? Today’s fast changing world demands dynamic people who keep abreast of latest information and the changing advanced technology. Successful people, often, have a quest to explore more, learn more and thereby, pursue excellence. But one cant be directionless in exploration. This book is a must have guide so that you know what are you heading towards.
- Willpower: – Willpower is the strongest virtue which successful people possess and which helps them achieve distinguished success. It is the ability to perform consistently under the testing times and the ability to withstand the difficulties. Willpower, alone, often defines one’s success. This book sheds light on the way to focus your physical, mental and intellectual energies and to build strong willpower. Success, then, is just a few steps away with strong willpower.
6) Habits: – Power of good habits are vital to success. The book intends to inculcate all the basic formal good habits like humility, understanding, and empathy for others. It will also help you develop a sense of humor which is a rare trait these days. This book will enable you to enhance your self esteem be the best of yourself.
- Time management: – Time and Tide wait for none. This might sound a cliché, but it is the hardcore truth. One needs to effectively manage this very resource which is equally distributed to everyone on this planet. This book will hold your hands and guide you to use time in the best possible manner.
How to use this book?
Well, before using this book one needs to have undergone a self analysis. An analysis helps in the long way to identify one’s strengths and weaknesses. One needs to retrospect about the successful times and identify what contributed to those distinguished events. Was it your sheer talent, initiative or a group effort? Once you get answers to this question, ask yourself again whether you still use those elements in your endeavors? If you encounter a negative answer, ask yourself again “Why not?”After all why should happy history not repeat itself?
It is equally important to ponder over the failures of life as it is to dwell over success. Failures are the major lessons to be learnt in life. Ask yourself,” When did I fail and Why?” Is it because of some shortcomings? If the answer is yes, note down the shortcomings and counter them with the methods in this book.
This book can be used as a reference manual for developing a desirable and successful personality. Of course, you need to answer all the questions tabulated in the self assessment form.
Happy personality development ahead!