Empathy of course is the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person's feelings. This empathy requires pure love of one another. Without this love we should not care to listen let alone imagine another person's feelings. At least one on-line thesaurus proposes apathy as a suitable antonym of empathy. Apathy then is defined quite simply as an uncaring attitude or lack of interest. We should challenge our selves now then to examine apathy in our own life. Where do we find apathy at home? Where does it show up in the work place? What are the long-term effects of apathy in our society?
Imagine a society in which no one really cares about anything or anyone. Where is this place in which interest in others is devoid? One might have first considered that the opposite of empathy, since it is based on love, might be hatred. Apathy though suggests something different. This absence of love could rival hatred in its evil doings. What are the types of things that cause us to become apathetic? How do we progress from love to the absence of love? Envy? Greed? Ego? Have we ever found our self in a situation focusing not on what is right but who is right? In any team environment we should find it necessary to purge discussions which investigate who is right or wrong instead of what is right or wrong.
What happens when discussions turn to finger pointing? After a brief reflection we should conclude that love is destroyed if just by a small fraction. Mohandas K. Gandhi has been quoted as follows, “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.” When we lose focus of what is right or wrong, then we delve into discussion that lacks reason. Reason is divorced from our minds when we feed the emotions of envy, greed, and ego. When we lose reason, we lose respect. When we lose respect, we find mutual benefit becomes elusive. Without these things we should discover an empty box where once love resided. We should challenge our selves to think about the tremendous impact we have on our society. When we master empathy, we conquer evil. We spread love rather than apathy. If we desire results, we must first establish an environment where mutual respect leads our team to reason with one another rather than to argue with one another. It is imperative that through all this we remember the star of every team is the team.
Copyright © Robert Clinton Chedester 2013