Empathy Tangent

Too many people today see someone in pain, and in need of comfort and do one of two things: they either ignore the situation completely, or possibly worse, fake sympathy for the one hurting. There’s almost no better feeling than being broken and having someone next to you, holding your hand saying, “you’re strong and you can do this.”. And on the contrary there is almost no feeling more enraging than being in pain and someone trying to tell you they know your pain. Reaching out to someone who is struggling in a situation similar to one’s own and doing so in a friendly and sincere manner is one thing, but many pretend to “know” pain in order to feel in control of the situation. I don’t doubt that many people can “understand” a situation but there is a distinctive difference between knowing and understanding and that line has to be applied to sympathy versus empathy. I found this article with empathy cards that tell it like it is, 8 Empathy Cards.

Humans find excuses to cover up the ugly because we are too afraid to face the truth that things break down and need repair constantly. We have created a society in which everyone believes being unhappy is taboo and wicked. Even in the movies and TV shows we watch we see that people who are not always Little Miss Sunshine, are portrayed as unfortunate. Wouldn’t it be sad to be happy all the time? Human emotions are supposed to range from livid to ecstatic and absolutely gradient in between. The downs highlight how pleasurable it is to be happy.

Being broken is one of the best feelings. Knowing that the only way you can go is back up, it’s humbling to see how much you can learn, and how much you can grow. It’s a peaceful combination of pain, and numbing acceptance. I am content with where I am, there are days when everything works out and I feel happy, and there are days when everything and everyone seem to be throwing tomatoes in my directions but still, I am content. To me being content means, I can do what I need/want to with a smile on my face. I find small joys in each day and work to ignore the menial things that bother me. We have created a society in which being content is not enough, we must have everything we want in order to be happy, and being externally happy is vital to social acceptance. Work to be content with your life, and happiness will consequently follow, so will sadness, but by the time you achieve this state, you’ll understand the difference and why we have to have both.

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