EMPATHY

EMPATHY

Each one of us goes through some sort of trauma in our lives from time to time. There is none who can say that they never go through stress-even the so called Baba’s go through times when they may not be getting dakshina from their chelas. The cause could be emotional (loss of a loved one), physical (some illness nor the other), educational (career related) or financial (money problems).

So how does one cope with such a situation? People around you( friends&family) will give you many suggestions, even I would counsel them the same but then I do put myself in their shoes and then proceed to advise  move on with your life(my life is at a standstill, I lost my husband), relax (how do I relax when I have two kids to look after?) , take a chill pill ( my soul is already cold), do what you feel like (I feel like crawling into a 6 foot grave), take on a hobby , anything that your heart pleases – paint, write, sketch, read or play an instrument to experience a real mood elevator. ( I need work not a hobby), start hitting the gym it will make you feel better (oh yeah as if my size mattered now), if you are a booklover then go buy your favorite book and laze around in your bed with it ( I don’t know how I pay my bills and you want me to buy a book?), remember the saying ‘A healthy mind resides in a healthy body’-eat healthy ( thought of food makes me puke!) listen to your favorite music and forget all the cares of the world ( music sound like grating noise when one is in a fix) indulge yourself-go for a spa treatment and a massage it will surely relaxxxxxxxxx you (  as if it will be paid for my a Robin Hood!) when life throws a curveball then squeeze it like stress ball-take off for a vacation, a change of scene will do you a great deal of good (as if running away will solve my problems!) or the latest mantra….meditate! All your problems will go swooooooooosh out of the window with your breathing! (Breathe in and out and relax when I am wondering what would happen to me if I didn’t start getting a pay check soon) or another extreme would be sympathy- Sniffling and sniveling and kindness that could actually kill a distraught person.

A harrowing experience leaves a person distraught and beats one’s ability to cope. One feels powerless, defenselessness, emotional and is in mental trauma. First reaction would be denial and longer term reactions include erratic emotions, flashbacks, and psychosomatic illness. Feelings of pity could actually trigger emotions of agitation and aggravate the already delicate mental balance of a distressed soul.Its very easy to give advise but then does anybody follow it up? Why do family and friends give the cold shoulder after lauding one with majestic soliloquies? Cant we not take out a little time to be there for our family or friends ?  Giving charity is easy but being empathetic is difficult.Dont choose the easy way out!

Very few Indians know what empathy is. They are so enveloped in their own selfish worlds and do not have the inclination nor is there the interest to understand what another going through. The meaning of EMPATHY should be explained in schools and it should be mandatory for every human being to realize what it is.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Empathy:

“Empathy is the capability to share and understand another’s emotions and feelings. It is often characterized as the ability to “put oneself into another’s shoes,” Empathy does not necessarily imply compassion, sympathy, or empathic concern because this capacity can be present in context of compassionate or cruel behavior. Since empathy involves understanding the emotional states of other people, the way it is characterized is derivative of the way emotions themselves are characterized. If, for example, emotions are taken to be centrally characterized by bodily feelings, then grasping the bodily feelings of another will be central to empathy. On the other hand, if emotions are more centrally characterized by a combination of beliefs and desires, then grasping these beliefs and desires will be more essential to empathy. The ability to imagine oneself as another person is a sophisticated imaginative process. However, the basic capacity to recognize emotions is probably innate and may be achieved unconsciously. Yet it can be trained and achieved with various degrees of intensity or accuracy.”

If one has lost a dear one then just feel what the other is going through….believe me its not that difficult.

If someone is going through a terminal illness, just feel what that person must be feeling.

If one has lost a job then he/she would be devastated. Can’t one understand what it feels to be fired?

If one has been dumped in love then hear the shattering of the heart into a million pieces. Try to stick them together as well as you can.

If one is faced with a financial problem then am sure one can sense what it is to be penniless.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime -Chinese Proverb .That’s how simple it is. One doesn’t have to empty ones pockets or soul. Start from home….Give your child an extra special hug today or cook a favorite dish for your loved one. Smile at someone at the mall or hold a door for someone. Lend an ear to someone trying to vent out their innermost feelings. Just be yourself. Be Human.

Empathy could relieve millions of distressed souls. Get rid of your apathy and just FEEL

I feel a feel a funny feel

A funny feel, feel I

If you feel the feel I feel

You’ll feel the same as I !!

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Seema says:

    You Know what Jeet, I agree with you. Empathy is sorely missing in today’s world. It all seems to boil down to. “whats in it for ME”. People need to stop being so self centered and focous more on soul enrichment than personal gain….
    You have articulated it very well. LOVE IT!!!

    Like

    1. Yes Seema….especially out here in India..its all about sympathy and pity and then comes charity….Empathy is nowhere in the dictionary…I just poured my heart out girl

      Like

  2. Rohit says:

    rightly said harjeet, we all go thru those phases in our life, twice it had happened with me personally when I was at a loss of words and feelings – twice I lost two of my very good friends and had no idea how to cope with the family. call it distance, language, culture difference or whatever – I almost lost contact with their families and its been years that i have spoken or met them. But trust me – not one day goes that I do not think of them or their families – I know they have all survived and are doing well but somehow I am not able to forgive myself for the crime and dont know how i can mend it now. Your post just refreshed the whole thing and I again felt guilt today.

    Like

    1. Thanx Rohit…… at least u realized that u were at a loss how to cope… recognizing that itself is a big step……you are now posed to face it better next time..U have discovered ur weakness and ur accepting it. U r going to make an effort to feel…thats what is important….may u never falter again

      Like

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