Empathy, The Sister Of Sympathy…
I think we are living in selfish times. I’m the first one to say that I’m the most selfish. We live in the so-called ‘first world,’ and we may be the first in a lot of things like technology, but we are far behind in empathy.
Empathy is something bigger than sympathy; sympathy is to feel sorry for someone while empathy is the name of a feeling, an understanding and being aware of other’s troubles and pains. It’s like walking in the shoe of someone, someone who is facing difficulties and is going through the worst period of life. Most of us are even unaware of the term empathy and the one who knows about empathy is unable to practice it in one’s life. Before joining Amal Academy, I was there in both categories, and then Amal Academy happend to be the best phase of my entire life so far. Starting from the very first day I learnt the things which i had never learnt at home, school or university. From the very first day it told us about giving respect and carefully listening to someone who is speaking. Fellows at Amal Academy shared their stories, I also shared mine and the amazing thing was the support of fellows. Everyone supported and even encouraged one another. It was a start to something new, a positive change to understand everyone and respect other’s views.
“ Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another! “
After a few weeks there was a session related to empathy and sympathy, I learnt that empathy is a choice, a vulnerable choice because in order to connect with someone I have to connect with something in myself which knows that feeling. After the session it was clear as sky that the journey started from the very first day have some link with this session.
Last week, while I was traveling from Dera Ghazi Khan to Lahore, on the stop at Sahiwal I came out from the bus and started walking, I saw a beggar who was shivering with cold, hardly covered with a blanket which was torn from every side. Afterwards, I saw something strange; a collage boy of almost 18 stopped by him and took off his own sweater and gave it to the beggar. This was wow! It said all about the amount of compassion that the boy was enriched with. The people who adopt empathy have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. By practicing and applying empathy in our lives we can make this world a happy place to live in.
Lack of empathy is ignorance, truly knowing what others feel is indistinguishable from feeling it yourself. “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” — Socrates