Time and space for empathy

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Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all spare a little more time for understanding one another in our day to day communication? This question becomes especially relevant when one lives in a globalised metropolis. We often whizz past each other, occasionally having reasons to engage directly with folks we don’t know. It is likely that we all carry psychological baggage from our respective heritages and upbringings, which there is no way of detecting or perceiving in those fleeting encounters.

Is it possible that the trend towards intolerance regarding difference that is highly visible in the choices that voters have made in elections of recent years in various nations is partially due to the unwillingness to spare time and patience to imagine what it is like to walk in another person’s shoes?

This set of banal observations is as much a memo to me as it is to anyone else who reads them. It is important to accept the emotions we feel about our encounters with others, for better or worse. Perhaps we might find more peace in our hearts and minds, if we can cultivate the impulse to empathise with others whenever possible.

There are certain types of behaviour that shouldn’t be condoned generally amongst human beings. I wouldn’t want to set myself up as someone who decides what fits into this category.

It might be useful however, if spaces are provided for reflection about this matter, for the betterment of all. Time and energy invested in so doing could be productive and beneficial in unexpected ways.