Can We Empathize?



by Taylor Gonzalez


How does someone describe a word as deep as empathy, ask yourself, can we empathize? Most people when asked, would say its putting yourself in others shoes, or understanding how someone else feels. Doing this does not give you empathy towards another.

Im sure some have tried this in many different ways. For example, let’s say a person has a functional difference and is in a wheelchair. How would one develop empathy for everyone who is paraplegic? Maybe live in wheelchair for a day? How would this make a person develop empathy? You may understand how a person feels, but you will never understand the day to day and life struggles a particular person faces. Even between two people who have been diagnosed with the same “disorder” are even entirely different. Yes you can argue that some cases are more serious than others, but in a general sense, each individual person feels and has a different state of mind. One person may have found a way to cope and live with the disorder, where as another person may have trouble going through life.

The most common issue you can see today, is the rise in depression or ADD/ADHD. When people start with a state of mind, it’s a lot of the times conditioned somehow, then emotions follow or vice versa.

So what’s the best option to understand someone? How about instead of trying to feel what another is feeling, you ask what can I do to help? Helping others would be a better solution rather than judging and trying to understand how another person thinks. Since every person is different and unique, the brain process and problem solving that one developed over the years is hard to understand how one person thinks.

Remembering how many variables come into play with day to day life and the many struggles with functional differences, each person thinks differently based on those events that take place with or without a condition. The best thing to do Is lend a helping hand rather than saying what a depressing person, or he is stupid because he doesn’t understand.

Love and compassion can be the best empathy to give to a person.
Even if we can empathize, what is more important, helping a person or trying to understand them?





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