Undeserved, unnatural, and freely given
Undeserved, unnatural, and freely given — that’s the remarkable nature of empathy.
Empathy dismantles the hierarchy of merit-based, tit-for-tat responses. It goes beyond what a person might deserve in the moment and shows their worthiness as a human being, perhaps despite their actions or words.
Empathy is the acknowledgement that emotions are the cry of our soul. When someone lashes out or makes a snide remark, they’re hurting on the inside and may not know how to process the pain.
Empathy is also unnatural. It’s a skill we must develop over time. This means anyone can learn to be empathic — it’s not a personality trait or innate talent.
And empathy must be freely given if it’s given at all. Stingy, regulated empathy isn’t empathy — it’s pity. There’s not a limit to how much empathy a person deserves or can receive. (We can, however, exhaust our reserves for giving empathy if we’re not refueling and recharging consistently.)
“It’s not about ‘deserve’. It’s about what you believe. And I believe in Love.” — Diana in Wonder Woman