I wish there was a way to teach empathy. And to incentivize people to empathize.
To understand that the circumstances of your birth predetermine 50% of your life. Whether that was your parent’s careers and social status and education and maybe their religion. The country that you were born into and maybe even the state.
Your level of intelligence, your physical and mental health.
One of the things our country is struggling with most is the level of empathy. We’re so far apart now and we have no idea how to come back together. We listen to the people we want to listen to. And we trust what they’re saying regardless of what they’re saying. We refuse to listen to each other or to even try and understand.
Yes, it’s true, there are facts. But in my opinion, even facts can be subjective. If we ignore circumstances and individual perspectives, why someone thinks the way they think, how can we possibly think that we have the potential to change their mind? What makes us think that they would trust us enough to listen and if they listened that they would understand?
Truthfully, I feel like I don’t have enough empathy. I grew up as a minority, but with a life of privilege, with parents that were educated and had steady jobs. In a strongly liberal state with liberal parents. And I don’t understand the other side. The other perspective.
Truthfully, every time I try to understand the other side, it makes me angry, because it seems to unreasonable. And because of that, I tune it out. That’s not right.
Truthfully, I sometimes think that people who don’t agree with me are ignorant. But maybe they think the same of me.
We’re so divided now. How can we start to understand?