A truly compassionate world would have looked different from the one we have today. People hurt each other and don’t even care that they did. People have become egoistic creatures stepping on each other and only think of themselves. The world would be a better place if we developed empathy.
Empathy: the ability to comprehend another person’s emotions/feelings or problems without experiencing them at that particular moment. It’s to experience the world from another person’s view. To experience life from their living conditions and feeling what it feels like to be that person. It’s complicated at times to understand what someone is going through, if you haven’t been through it for yourself. But once you experience if for yourself, your point of view changes and how you feel about those facing similar situations.
An old lady in our umudugudu must receive insulin injections twice a day. She goes to the health center for the injection, but they refuse claiming that she doesn’t have her insurance (mutuelle de sante) card, even though she had the prescription. She forgot it at the hospital when she was diacharged. She walks back to the hospital and returns back to the health center for the injection. Another incident happened when she forgot her prescription at the health center (blame it on the old age). The following day they inform her that she couldn’t get the injection, on claims that she didn’t have the prescription, which is just crazy. She’s there every day and they know her. She tells them she forgot it there and asks them to check. They say they can’t find it, so she won’t get the injection unless she goes back to the hospital to get a new one. As she’s leaving, she meets this other nurse who agrees to inject her. And he finds it there on the table. This poor woman would have died. This whole thing could have been avoided if they simply treated her like a human being that is sick and needs medicine. If they were compassionate, they would know how it feels to be in that position and give her the injection, then straighten the issue out afterwards.
You pretend to offer someone something that you have no intention of actually offering. You make the other person think that they have a chance with you. You told them things that made it seem like you liked them. Everything was going great (at least the other person thought so). You knew how they felt about you but you used their feelings. You knew they considered you special and knew that you’d never feel the same but you manipulate them into a one-sided relationship. You knew how they felt, but you knowingly played with their feelings. Or someone who cheats on their long-term partner. They claim they weren’t getting enough attention. That their significant other was too busy when they needed them, so they turned their time to someone who gave them all the attention. They didn’t put themselves in the other’s position to imagine how they would feel if it were them being cheated on. There’s no way to sugar coat it, it’s disrespectful and mean. Making an active choice to mislead someone makes you just a user, a liar, a coward. Did you ever think about how that makes the other person feel? How would you feel if that happened to you? How would you react? It breaks their heart. It kills their self-esteem. It emotionally ruins them. You don’t use someone like that. They don’t deserve to be played. Odds are, they tried to be a good partner. They deserve better than being manipulated. If you’re not interested in someone, just grow a pair and tell them. It hurts but being played hurts even worse. The more people are played and hurt, the less likely they are to want to get serious with anyone else. The next time you hit on someone and they push you away, remember that it’s people like you who are killing real relationships. Don’t do it unless you’d be fine with it happening to you. If you were compassionate, you would know how it feels to be played/manipulated and hurt, and you would not do that to anyone.
I find it hard to believe that people don’t know when their actions are hurting another person. Deep down we always know right from wrong thing, but we ignore doing the right thing and we find reasons to excuse that. The I have to think of myself or else I might suffer kind of reasons.
Imagine that sick old woman is your loved one, your mother. Imagine the person being played, cheated on is your brother or your sister. Imagine they are the one going through that suffering. Imagine the suffering in as much detail as possible. Reflect on how much you would want that to end. Reflect on how happy you would be if another person acted upon it, and did something to help ease the suffering or end it completely. If it were you, what would you like someone to do to end that suffering?
We should recognize our commonalities and ignore the differences. We are all human beings. We need food, shelter and love. We all seek happiness. We all try to avoid suffering in our lives. We all seek to fill our needs. We have all known sadness, loneliness and hopelessness. We all feel the same thing. This realization allows us to feel compassion towards one another.
You walk by a stranger who gives you a dirty look. Try to imagine the mood that person is in. maybe they’re having a bad day. Or someone steps on you but instead of apologizing, yells at you to “watch where you put your feet”. It angers you. Try to imagine what that person is going through or what kind of bad things happened to that person. Maybe he just got fired from work and still has debts, or his business is falling. Maybe he’s going through a nasty divorce. Imagine the suffering he must have been going through to treat you that way. Understand that their action was not about you, but what they were going through. They hurt just like you. They feel joy just like you. They worry and feel scared sometimes just like you. They have bad days just like you and have amazing days just like you.
Do something to help end the suffering of others, even in a tiny way. Even a smile, or just talking about a problem with another person.
The golden rule being: treat others as you would want to be treated.
Get out of your own head/mind.
See with the eyes of another.
Hear with the ears of another.
Feel with the heart of another.