What’s Happened to Kindness and Empathy #empathy #compassion #pandemic

Image by Vicki Nunn from Pixabay

I live in a typical upper middle-class American town. People are kind when it’s convenient, and unkind, I suspect more often than most realize. At least these days. It is a place where behind closed doors comparisons are made and unkind remarks are uttered, but it is also a town where, more and more, unkind words are uttered in public. Especially on platforms like social media.

We have a town FB page that was created with the intention to build community. Whenever I go on it, I find posts where people are mocked and attacked. This is not community. This is not kindness. This is not empathy. This is not, I am sure, the only town like this is America. Or in the world right now. We are living in an era of extreme polarization fed by fear and hatred. More often than not, we are globally tapping into the shadowlands of ourselves to react to life, instead of finding the self in the other.

We can blame the previous POTUS for being an instigator and propagator of this dehumanizing type of behavior, but that is also a convenient excuse. Each one of us is endowed with the choice of our actions, thoughts, and words. In any moment we can behave with self-serving rhetoric, or we can step into the space of empathy, kindness, and love.

Some days, like today, I struggle with the pull to react and defend. To try to balance the scales back to humanity. Mocking a global pandemic, which has caused millions of people to die or become seriously ill, is not an act of empathy, love, or kindness. It is an action that is, simply, unjustifiable.

Undermining someone’s concern for their child’s welfare, and the welfare of their child’s classmates and teachers, by a laughing emoji reflects not only a lack of empathy, but a lack of humanity.

We an use the argument of “lies” v. “truth,” which is ever-so-popular right now in our fear-driven, conspiracy-fed world, but where does that truely led us? To more separation from our core essence. To more separation from ourselves and each other. The need to be special, unique, right, and different, drives us away from the realization that we are all worthy of this life we are living.

20 thoughts on “What’s Happened to Kindness and Empathy #empathy #compassion #pandemic

  1. Agreed Alethea. It pains me to see the level of polarization, judgment, and pettiness online and spilling over to in person interactions. We each must choose whether to help heal our communities with compassion and inclusion, or continue the destruction.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alethea, I find your post so strong and filled with clarity. Your words could be my own. May love and wisdom win out. May our choices be for the good of all.
    We were given freedom of choice, we were not enslaved.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand some people’s mentality of “we” vs. “they.” I love the part of Portland, Oregon where my daughter’s family lives. The neighborhood is friendly. She was apprehensive about moving there a year and a half ago. But she is happy because there are many younger families with kids who are similar ages as their kids. When I go for walks with my grandkids, signs are everywhere showing support to the community.
    I live in a CA community used to have a Neighborhood Watch. But many moved away. New people moved in. The new people seem to keep their windows and doors closed with no interaction with each other, not even saying ‘hi’ to each other. At lease there’s no attacking or destruction I’m aware of.
    Sorry to hear what happened in your community. I see that a lot from the news but at least don’t witness them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “The need to be special, unique, right, and different, drives us away from the realization that we are all worthy of this life we are living.” I couldn’t agree more. Wish I could pain this across the sky.

    I appreciate this post.
    Hope you’re well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jane Sturgeon

    Gosh, your words resonated and it is evident here in the U.K. too. So much sharpness and judgment and I pray, as we all do in our Global Village, that love rises up. Much love flowing to you, Alethea. ❀ xXx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well penned.
    I like this sentence, “The need to be special, unique, right, and different, drives us away from the realization that we are all worthy of this life we are living.”
    I used to explain to my elementary school students that we may be different, but the pain we feel when hurt by words or actions of others is the same. I would put it simply, “We all bleed when cut, right? And we all bleed red, Right?”
    The light bulb would come on, and they would completely understand.

    Liked by 1 person

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