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How more empathy can improve our f*cked up world
I haven't blogged in a bit, and it's sad that this is the type of post that I felt compelled to write. Regardless, I have something to get off my chest.
I want to talk about how fucked up our world is right now.
Discrimination, disagreement, dissent, and disharmony is all around us. There's so much angst everywhere. The tension is palpable.
While it can't be boiled down to a single factor, I think a lot of the hatred in our world stems from a lack of empathy.
A prime cause of terrorism is the fact that some people so radically believe in their religion that any other faith or way of life is unacceptable. So attacks are planned and executed. Then bombs are dropped to retaliate against terrorists organizations, and civilian casualties happen (oh well!). Then the terrorist reciprocate, and a vicious cycle starts and continues.
Racist people don't understand what others go through day in, day out, simply for having different colored skin, and they don't care. That person of a different ethnicity can be super educated, extremely friendly, and very helpful, but the racist person doesn't give a shit.
The NRA can't fathom how the families of victims of mass shootings feel and won't do a damn thing about it. And the people who execute these mass shootings do it from a place of hatred for another way of life that's different from their own.
While alcohol many times muddies the true story of campus sexual assault, there is a fundamental absence of empathy in many of the parties involved. Drunk students take advantage of other drunk students with little regard of how the victim may feel or the consequences of their actions. The victim may accuse someone of rape even though the story is unclear, not thinking about how a simple accusation can significantly alter that person's life for the worse. And the parents of the accused or accuser many times don't understand (or care to understand) what the other family is going through. I have a 14-month old daughter and I am terrified to send her to college 17 years from now. If I had a son, I'd still be extremely nervous about what can potentially happen on campus.
Truthfully, I don't know if any protest we take part in, petition that we sign, or letter to our senator that we write will change anything.
I don't think our government is capable of making things right.
But I think we can do our part everyday to better this world by being more empathetic.
It can be simple as putting yourself in someone else's shoes when you're in an argument to help see the other side of things.
Or you can be a little nicer to that person who isn't like you.
And even when a terrorist or mass murderer performs a horrific act of violence, understanding why they did so and attempting to address the underlying problem, instead of simply calling for vengeance, can help avoid future catastrophes.
I believe that empathy is one of the most important characteristics that someone can have, and it is something that can be learned.
And I believe that if more people were more empathetic of others' situations, we can avoid a lot of the conflict that is occurring today.
And I believe that we can all do our part to make the world a more empathetic place right now, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and for the rest of our lives.
Sorry for the rant.