America is not the America I grew up in during the 70’s and 80’s. Today, society seems to lack empathy for life itself which seems extremely sad and scary to me. Just look at the recent loss of five lives that were onboard the Titan submersible, and were hoping to see the Titanic wreckage at a price tag of $250,000 each. Unfortunately, they ended up paying even a higher cost – the cost of their lives when it imploded on the ocean floor. Sadly, instead of people showing empathy, the world seemed to smirk at the idea that these “rich” people deserved such an untimely death. How incredibly despairing is it to think that society thinks so little about human life. Where has our humanity gone? How do we teach our children to love anything if we don’t care about everything there is in this life – the trees, the animals, our neighbors, etc.? I believe that without empathy the world will slowly implode upon itself just like the vessel that went down to its watery grave in the North Atlantic.
Though life wasn’t exactly a cakewalk for me back in my childhood and high school days, I still felt like neighbors, coworkers, my friends and my family actually cared for one another. By that I mean we looked out for each other and each other’s property. We also showed genuine concern when someone was struggling in any area of their life – physically, emotionally or spiritually. We always went out of our way to help others, not just ourselves.
Growing up on country roads it was common for us to have a flat tire or two. Of course, I had a great daddy who showed me how to check my vehicle’s oil and most importantly how to change a flat tire. However, back then, when people saw your plight and predicament, they usually pulled over and offered their assistance but that doesn’t happen as much today.
Today if you happen to have a flat on the highway, you better keep the crowbar in your hand and watch your back so you don’t get hijacked or run over by someone who refuses to even pull over into the other lane for your safety. Seriously, I have had semis that have nearly blown me off the road while I changed a flat. What the heck is up with that? They used to be the ones to stop and help.
One of my biggest pet peeves today is when drivers can’t seem to move over to the passing lane when someone is stranded on the side of the road or if someone is trying to merge onto the highway safely. I mean, if you aren’t going to stop and help, at least pull over to the passing lane please.
But it’s not just the physical realm where people don’t care anymore; it’s the emotional and spiritual realm too. Too many want to tear others down on social media and society seems to think that it’s okay to speak their mind on social platforms but they wouldn’t dare say those things face-to-face. So what’s up with that? What happened to saying nothing at all if we didn’t have anything nice to say?
Lastly, society seems to be turning toward selfdestruction rather than self-awareness. We seem to lack the self-awareness that makes us understand that our actions, emotions and beliefs, all play a part in who we are and how we act. We need to learn how to deal with our negative emotions of hate and anger so we can have more empathy and compassion for others.
Empathy is the awareness of other people’s emotions and trying to understand how they feel, while compassion is the emotional response to that empathy that moves us to actually do something to help them.
I believe spiritually we need to stand in front of the mirror and decide to measure up to the Man upstairs. He walked among sinners and loved them out of their plight. He taught greater lessons of life to those who would hear and follow Him. Plus He loved beyond measure, showing empathy and compassion to the greatest degree – giving up His life for mankind. So, look deep into that mirror and see what is missing? Do you have enough empathy? Do you show enough compassion to act upon that empathy and be the change that society needs today? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to look back over my life when it’s said and done and see that I lacked the empathy and compassion I needed to lead a purposeful life of helping others. I want to be that person who looks at ways to help others and not just myself in this crazy life.