Empathy: The Fabrics Of Our Humanity
Our humanity is not just a function of how we live for ourselves but how we live for others. You may just need to walk a mile or two in the shoes of other people to be able to understand and see things from their own perspective - this is actually what empathy entails. As humans, we are to possess the gift of empathy and watch how beautiful life will be. You will be surprised that when you try to understand people from their own point of view, you will understand the reasons for their actions and inactions. More so, empathy is also hinged on love and nothing bounds humanity like love.
There are times that you need to make adjustments to your own nature in order to accommodate someone else. You must not strive to be right at times and even your point of view can be wrong. So you need to be able to welcome other people's own points of view. In addition, you also need to give people a sense of belonging and also be sensitive to their feelings and emotions. Empathy does not focus on amplifying the flaws of people, because no human is without flaw. But rather, it focuses on helping them get better and then overcoming their dark sides.
It is true that in this present world and at this time, a lot of things tend to divide us - right from our belief system, to our school of thought, status, political differences, background, social inclination, etc, be we still need to find a connection between ourselves and that is only possible through empathy. You should not live for yourself alone, you should also try to live for someone else too. At the end, how well you have lived may not matter as much as how well others have lived because of you. If your actions are not making others feel better, then you should do more.
There are lots of ways to show empathy and we will explore some of them. Firstly; what could be greater than providing a listening ear to someone in dire need? The first point of call in empathy is to have listening ears. You need to first listen to people before you will know how to help them. This goes way beyond hearing them but listening with understanding. That is, removing bias when listening and not being quick to judge. I remember what a friend once said: "you will know you understand what someone is saying when you start seeing their words instead of just hearing them." No wonder when you are talking to someone and they understand, they will respond with "I see," not "I hear."
After you have developed a listening ear to others, then another way to show empathy is by lending a helping hand to someone in need. When you see someone in need, what is your first action towards them? The truth is that when you have the mind to help someone, you will discover that you have something you can use to help them. It may not necessarily be in terms of materials things; it can be a word of advice, recommendation, connection, idea, or even offering emotional support. All these can go a long way to make someone to feel better. Not just making them feel better, but it will make you to feel better, knowing that someone else is better because of you.
However, one should note that in order to be able to be empathetic, one needs to have a high level of emotional intelligence. It is your emotional intelligence that will make you to understand what someone is feeling even when they are not saying it. You should get to a point where you will be able to detect sadness even in the midst of smiley face. Someone may be saying something and their emotions may be pointing towards an entirely different thing. You need emotional intelligence to know the difference. A lot of people are passing through untold hard times which they may not even talk about. So you need to learn to look beyond the appearance.
In our day-to-day life, in relationships, family, at work, at home, in your neighbourhood, always try to be the reason why someone else is happy. All these will count towards making living worth it, and they are part of the demands of humanity. I conclude with this statement that is normally used in this part of the world:
Before you judge someone, try to put yourself in their shoes and take a couple of steps in them.
Thanks for reading