Singing the rhythm of empathy
Psychology

16-Jul-2021

Singing the rhythm of empathy

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During these tough where we see nothing beyond the unending coronavirus pandemic, one thing that keeps us going is empathy towards fellow humans. Many people have lost their loved ones from this disease and many are suffering from the illness & depression of the severity of disease. What if we extend a helping hand to them? By this view, I don’t mean to be available for someone 24*7. What I mean is, to do what we have in our hands: which will make them satisfied and forget their frustration for a while.


People mostly misunderstand the terms ‘sympathy’ and ‘empathy’.

An understanding of other people’s feelings, especially their problems and feelings of support or agreement, are called sympathy.

Whereas, empathy is the ability to put yourself in the situation of how another person is feeling (even though you need not have been in the exact situation) and so understand his/her mood.


The virtue of empathy is rooted from the very early years of someone’s life: childhood & teenage. The values are developing and our parents/guardians/caregivers teach us various things. One of them is the act of ‘empathizing’. What a child learns from his elders does not come from their teachings, or words…instead it comes through their actions. A child imitates the actions and a growing adult modifies them later in his own way.

What parents need to understand is that their child will someday become as enabled an adult as them, so there has to be some life-changing virtues in him/her other than what education teaches. Thus, they need to entail this value through their actions itself. When they would learn from home, they would practice the same with their parents and later engage in the same act with the world.


Singing the rhythm of empathy




However, in some cases, we have witnessed someone coming from a highly unpleasant background and still managing to stand out of the crowd, i.e. create his own path. He is empathetic (because he has dealt with the same things), he is modest (because he understands the ill-effects of indecency) and he is loving (because love was scarce to him). These people are exceptions and solid in their virtues because they have come a long way and learnt all by themselves.


Now the question remains how does it help in tough times?-

If you see your friend suffering emotionally and turned into a reserved person here are two possible responses you would have:

1. You would ask him to read so-and-so self-help books, listen to music, pursue his hobby and talk to his parents about it. And will sympathize with him.

2. You would understand that he has already tried all of the above and yet not improved that’s why the effects are visible in him. Therefore, you would perhaps take out some time from your schedule everyday & engage with him; not necessarily about his problems but just natural things…reminiscences of your friendship, etc. Gradually you will build a deeper bond with the person and would be able to help him out with exactly what he needs. (Chances are that after building trust, he could actually open up to you about stuff which worries him).

These are some of the characteristics of an empathetic person, to me. Other than this, you are most welcome to post your opinions in the comment section.


My motive was to present a view before the society that how desperately our loved ones need us. Be it our parents, our friends or siblings. Because during this unfortunate time people have been affected adversely- they have lost their jobs, their families or in some cases, their sense of self.

Also read: Increase in domestic violence during pandemic


We cannot unturn the situation as it is not in our hands, but we could definitely do whatever best we can do in our capability; both for ourselves and our society.


Singing the rhythm of empathy

 

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia

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