We need a rebirth of empathy
When I read a news piece about the passing of longtime California senator Dianne Feinstein a few weeks ago, some of the comments left at the bottom of the online article made me sad.
Feinstein suffered a very public health decline before she passed.
Anyone with the slightest sense of empathy would think “there but for the grace of God go I” — as every one of us could suffer a similar decline before our time finally comes.
Empathy is in short supply these days, however.
I don’t recall the exact words, but some commenters who disagreed with her political positions wrote comments such as “good riddance.” Others used derogatory terms that portrayed Feinstein not as a fellow human being but as some evil entity whose death was a good thing.
This past weekend, as Hamas gunmen from Gaza invaded Israel, killing and assaulting hundreds of civilians, my heart ached for people like Shani Louk, a 30-year-old woman who had been attending a dance music festival when she was kidnapped and paraded through the streets semi-naked in the back of a pickup truck.
My immediate response was incredible compassion for the pain and terror this poor woman suffered before she was killed — my heart breaks for her and her family.
The immediate response from many others around the world, however, was coldhearted and purely political — that her suffering was Israel’s fault because the country supposedly had this terrorist attack coming.
Not only do we live in a time in which everything is political all the time, we live in a world where people with whom we disagree are no longer seen as fellow human beings who have differing thoughts, but as evil entities that must be stopped by any means.
Why have our hearts become so much harder? One of the key reasons is the way we now receive and process information.
Copyright 2023 Tom Purcell, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com