Thursday, September 25, 2014

Empathy In Society

Recently we have been talking a lot about empathy and the likeliness that we can become a more empathetic society as a whole. Many citizens today all around the world are empathetic, the real challenge is converting those of us who don't care as much to become more empathetic.  I would love to see a world where everyone is empathetic but I believe that that's too idealistic.  There are of course some steps we can take that will showcase our good nature.  For example, we can all become more involved in helping disaster victims. After natural disasters so many people are in need of help.  To truly become more empathetic we need to place ourselves in the victims shoes and understand the pain that they're going through, and how just a little bit of help could turn their whole lives around. We can start small too.  By being empathetic in our daily lives we can become a more empathetic society.  For example, if someone is having a bad day, just try to understand their pain.
There's so many serious problems in the world today. For example, there's issues of gender inequality, ISIS, hunger, school systems, sexual abuse, utilitarianism and many others.  Every problem listed before could be solved if people were more empathetic.  If people were empathetic, there wouldn't be any gender inequality because males would be putting themselves in the shoes of females.  People wouldn't go hungry since everyone's empathy would drive them to donate food. ISIS wouldn't exist and neither would dictators.  It's crazy to imagine that almost all of the worlds most pressing problems could be fixed simply by people being more empathetic.
When asked if it's possible for empathy to be extended to the entire race, people would love to say yes but the truth is that's a highly unlikely possibility.  Even though empathy could solely fix a lot of major problems in the world, that's still not enough motivation for some people to become more empathetic.  The lack of empathy in our world today doesn't have so much to do with people being bad by nature.  It has more to do with people wanting to avoid things that upset them.  If your life is great and you have a lot of money and food you aren't going to want to think about the people that are suffering.  It's not that you're mean and don't care. It's more that thinking about the people starving is upsetting. And even if it upsets you, you probably aren't actually motivated to do anything about it so instead you just avoid the whole topic. You block out the fact that people are suffering and essentially squash your empathy.  The more people that squash their empathy, the less empathy we find in the world.  So therefore I don't believe that empathy can be extended to the entire race.  As long as people avoid the suffering of the world around them, we can never become a completely empathetic society.

1 comment:

  1. How do we get to a point where a majority of people DON'T avoid the suffering they see?