EMPATHY – 08.06.12

To continue on the track of trying to help others there is a natural reluctance that most of us enjoy, in that we don’t like to interfere by offering to help, in case … we are refused? And here I would like to quote from a speech by the President of the USA Barack Obama who said:
“You know, there’s a lot of talk in this country about the federal deficit. But I think we should talk more about our empathy deficit – the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes; to see the world through the eyes of those who are different from us – the child who’s hungry, the steelworker who’s been laid-off, the family who lost the entire life they built together when the storm came to town. When you think like this – when you choose to broaden your ambit of concern and empathize with the plight of others, whether they are close friends or distant strangers – it becomes harder not to act; harder not to help.”

Such wise words, “ – harder not to act; harder not to help.”
There are many situations when it is hard to help, such as, at times of bereavement where you don’t know what to say or do. And yet I believe that it’s at times like this that there is no need to offer but indeed to act. It’s at times like this above all that we should feel empathy for others and we really need to bake that pie and leave it on the porch , clip that hedge or mow their lawn. Not only carry the shopping but to do their shop for them.

Can you see a picture emerging ? Can you imagine a new way of being and a new way of living regardless of what trauma anyone has just been through ?

Many of us across the world have had to change through force of circumstance. To downsize our homes, to use what little land we may have to grow good food, to try to reduce the amount of waste and garbage we generate and to reuse, recycle and compost rather than just expecting the local council to deal with our rubbish.

There is a new way of keeping up with the Joneses – see who can live more environmentally friendly, with a greater sense of empathy not only for the neighbours near and far, but also with the village, the city, the country and the Planet that we inhabit. Are you on board yet ?

When you go for a walk hopefully in the open countryside just look around you and try to see how Nature has organised itself. How the symbiotic relationship between species has benefited both, how, when left undisturbed nature allows all those species both above and below ground to work in harmony with each other to the benefit of all.

Can’t we live like that ? Shouldn’t we live like that ? You bet your last buck we should !

Here’s a thought: Look up Forest Gardening and Permaculture on the Net and don’t be put off by your own fears , because whether you live in the Country or the City you can still make a difference and change your circumstances for the better. You could say it’s a case of digging within and without !
Happy tilling, Hanukah.


About David

Devonian writer
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