Empathy

Even before the Trump era, it wasn’t easy being me. I was always quite annoyed at how much the world seemed to not value the same things I did. I understand that, the last thing I said, was very hyperbolic and childish. However, I do wish we, as human beings, could be more empathetic towards each other. In fact, it seems to me that there are too many systems at work that reinforce hateful ideas and behaviors. Capitalism is one that encourages us to not worry about other people and simply look out only for ourselves. It also creates more problems than it solves and reinforces antisocial and deeply psychopathic behavior. If you read enough studies, you find out that actually those who are more wealthy are more likely to choose the behaviors that cause maximum harm to others even if there is a slightly better option that causes slightly less harm. Under the Affluence is a book I would definitely recommend. However, even amongst the many factions of the left, we could use a bit more empathy. The line between strategy in politics and personal value systems seems to have eroded completely. I’m not saying that your values don’t matter to me. They most certainly do, but trying to understand people can only help foster more communication. Authenticity is more important to people than expertise. The difficulty with that is that authenticity can be faked. What is authentic to some is not authentic to others. But instead of trying to completely understand how someone comes to their conclusions we tend to not even bother. I understand that sometimes, we cannot reach people. There are some worldviews that I believe, do not allow us to communicate with them. But if you want allies you need empathy. The major problem for the left is that not only do we not have control over the supposedly left wing party in the United States, but we also can’t even agree on strategies amongst ourselves. The ability to be divided is part of being open-minded. To understand your own weaknesses is one of the greatest strengths a person can have. I am not saying we need to be able to reach the Republican voter. I do not think it is possible at this point. Our world views simply cannot coexist peacefully. The only reason privelaged people do not get this is because they haven’t actually been inconvenienced by the rot on the right. They also are able to communicate and are friends with the right in a way the non powerful aren’t. They talk to people all the time with different world views and are able to do that without it hurting them. Therefore, they cannot fathom how these people can be so destructive to people. This is because of a lack of empathy and a lack of courage. They do not think to talk to actual voters who aren’t business owners. At some level, they must understand how little they have in common with normal folks. This is used as an excuse to only talk to people they believe are closer to their peers. This allows them to assure themselves that they are both open-minded and they are able to reach out of their bubble. Of course this is rubbish. The moment they feel inconvenienced, they immediately get angry and defensive. The systems that I hate, that creates division and lack of empathy, are the ones that have made these people who they are and where they are. It is nothing short of a midlife crisis for them. It is their worldview being challenged.  Their hostility is understandable in some ways. However, they must be forced to understand regardless. We can do better and we must do better. Why shouldn’t we want all human beings to be able to live without worrying about basic necessities? I believe empathy is the only way to reach people.

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