Empathy. It’s probably the one word in the dictionary that has been lost. Lost in the fact that most have no idea what it means, that they have no idea how to use it, feel it, and well, it’s something that most aren’t taught these days.
Before we go further, I’d like to ask you if you know what Empathy is. Do you know? If not, here is a refresher. Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference; that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.
It seems pretty straightforward, right? I mean, you place yourself in their shoes and try to understand their issues, thoughts, and where they reside in their mind. Easy.. Not so fast. At the same time, this would be easier back in the older days; the advent of social media and more have taken away this word from most people. Most people respond to posts and comments without taking a step back to understand the other person’s stance. Empathy, it’s whats is lacking these days.
As a person who has been through a lot in his life, especially recently, it’s quite impressive how others are so easily offended or so easily able to react with hatred and abusive language to something they read but don’t understand fully. They aren’t capable of putting themselves into my shoes or put themselves into my issues and take a moment to think about it. What they do is immediately react as to if what I am saying is completely wrong or i need to be them.
Here is an example. Since I got sober, my life has taken a turn for the better. I have better health, better family life, and a better business. My new goal in life is to bring others together through a positive message. I run a group of over 3000+ appraisers across the country, and while I once was a negative person, I have been given a second chance to do good through my sobriety. The other day I posted to my group about how social media can hurt you with posts you make personally and how you can research and see the things you write and post on this day. Not a bad thing. I was trying to help others. I mean, I was once a person hurt by my posts and comments. One of the responses attacked me to say hateful things and hateful i mean hateful devil-like. They referred to my past and my days of being a drunk and my issues drinking. It was apparent that this person has been and will be better off than me, but couldn’t help themselves just to tear me down. They knew nothing else of my life, they knew nothing of my mission, and they knew nothing of my achievements. Yet they had to go full out nuclear on me, calling me bipolar and more. This person lacked the ability to look beyond themself and they to understand me. They didn’t even try to understand my past vs. my future. They never bothered to send me a message to talk. They just attacked. Why? Cause that is today’s culture. That’s today’s way. It didn’t agree with them, but they couldn’t even put themselves in my shoes to understand my post for a minute.. It was all about them and their beliefs/ issues. To this I say thank you.
Let’s take it further. I’m not too fond of politics.. I wouldn’t say I like it; therefore, i never talk about it. But here we are., me talking about it. Social media and more has led everyone to have a much more powerful voice than ever before. While we may disagree on things, what’s become apparent is that no one even has one ounce of Empathy towards others. The immediate reaction is to go hateful against them without 0 knowledge of why they commented or posted the way they did. Social media has led you to believe that you know that person and what they think or are going through. Social media has led you to say things you would never say to that person if you were faced with them. Social media has taken away the one thing that used to be something we once held in high standard… Empathy.
I was once one of those that could care less about you or your issues. It wasn’t until I needed help and had others back me, put themselves in my shoes and understand where I was coming from that I realized that some good people are out there willing to see my views and my life.
I may disagree with you on many things; I may not like your views; however, I will remember to use this word of Empathy. Before I judge, before I make a decision, I will put myself in your shoes and try hard as hell to understand where you are, who you are, and what your reasons are.
Empathy. It’s a missing word. It’s a lost action. Stop making new words and reinforce the ones that matter. We all need to get back to using empathy, we need to try and teach it and we need to be better.
Empathy…is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference; that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.. We are all humans. We all go through life differently. We all have issues. We all shape this world. Its not just about you, its about others as well. Think just for a second before you make your decision.