These days we are comforted in place of nearly all of our previous struggles as a society. Instead of discussing when we plan to plant our garden this spring we muddle around with how we plan to 'build our resume'. The former focused on a mutual benefit, survival, while the latter is engulfed in self-benefit. Many more examples can be brought to the fore here. Instead of concerning ourselves with collecting firewood for the stove we become consumed with collecting up video game statistics so that we can 'level up'. It is more apparent now how our lives are put into a direction opposed to community and survival in our comfortable existences. As a result we have nearly lost the art of empathy. How can one care to seek empathy when it really isn't that bad for our acquaintances?
There is common ground though that we may still find if we choose to look for it. We all share new difficulties while a few traditional ones remain. Work is stressful. Unemployment is stressful. Dealing with illness is sometimes tragic. We should have hope then that we can revive empathy in today's society before it is too late. It is now time for us to consider an abstract thought as a tool in this struggle. We must envision an imaginary delete-button that exists and remains in our control. The purpose of this delete-button is to provide a remedy to our sickness. When pressed it eliminates our instinct to see everything through our own eyes. For it is true that in order for us to begin to practice true, genuine empathy, we absolutely must remove our own perspective from our thoughts.
We should picture this giant delete-button floating in our midst at our disposal. When we are tempted to create a vision of our acquaintance's problem through our own eyes then we must fling our self toward this button. Of course we may find many barriers in our way attempting to perpetuate the lack of empathy in society. After all who seeks to benefit by removing empathy from the world? That near extinct art of removing all of our own experiences and all of our own emotions from our mind and heart, and instead preparing our heart to feel what is inside the other person’s heart, joining our mind with that person if just for a brief moment. Who revels to tempt us with this antithesis of empathy, self-infatuation? For remember it is written by the apostle James, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." When we find our own self losing control, beginning to judge the other based on our own view of the world, reach out and take advantage of our nifty new tool, press the delete-button.
Copyright © Robert Clinton Chedester 2013