Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Lack of Empathy

A post yesterday by one of my Facebook acquaintances got me thinking.  Given all the problems in the world right now, what seems to be wrong with us is that empathy is strongly lacking.  Many would rather fight with each other and with alleged enemies instead of supporting each other.  We see it everywhere.

One obvious example is the huge political rift in the United States.  The Republican Party has essentially been hijacked by extremists, fanatics, and war-mongers.  Their focus seems to be polarization as a means to an end.  Also involved are media moguls who use their channels for broadcasting stupidity and hatred.  (Fox News, anyone?)

Anyone who is not white, Christian, and straight gets demonized (even the President of the country!).  People who are poor, elderly, sick, or different are attacked.  This is all clearly sociopathic behaviour, and the definition of a sociopath is a person who does not care about others.  There are far too many of these on this planet who are committed to an endless war on humanity.  To them, empathy is a weakness.

The answer is, of course, compassion.  Caring, generosity, contribution.  Isn't that what the religious types are supposed to preach?  Isn't that simply common sense?  If we can find a way to make that more attractive than the alternative of pretending we're Clint Eastwood chasing the bad guys, the world will be a far better place.

If we don't, we will destroy ourselves.

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