“When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people. As I grow older, I admire kind people.” These wise words spoken by Abraham Joshua Heschel have been etched in mind, reflecting my present mindset… You see the reason why I admire kind people, benevolent, selfless, caring people is because they are the kind of people who practice empathy. Everyday, or almost everyday and definitely not just during the holiday season.
They are the kind of people who take the time to respond and interact with you, instead of pretending they didn’t see you or worse ignore you. They’re the kind that reach out to check if you’re OK when your voice is faint and look disorientated. They’re the kind who will let you “cut-in line” just because they reckon that you may be in need of a little “break” from that awful day/week you’re having; and not because you’re a selfish, egocentric bastard who doesn’t respect everyone else.
The bottom line is that a genuine kind act has the power to spark another kind act. Just think about this for a moment. Kindness leads to more kindness. Therefore, the people who practice empathy and are truly benevolent to others are ultimately the people worth being around the most. They’re usually the ones who get mentioned or praised the least, but deserve all our regard. Sometimes, they’re even the ones who take the fall for others… I’m sure somewhere along the lines, you all have come across people like that.
As such, I have come to the realization that it’s far more beneficial and empowering to be around kind people who empathize. Moreover, I wish to practice more empathy myself. (Empathy is not sympathy although in most cases, it is an element of it. So yes, it’s something that requires practice). Now if enough of us do this, daily, then there’s definitely true hope that humans will survive humans.
Still don’t get me wrong, I’m not pessimistic. On the contrary, I think we are all blessed with opportunities. We just need to check our perspective. Thus, I think it’s time to explore, engage a lot more, fear less, change if must, adopt and adapt and become better versions of our beautiful selves.
Having said all that, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish y’all a Merry Christmas with your loved ones. I also want to thank all of you who have been kind to me over the years and put up with my crazy mood trains and rumblings. I also want to thank y’all for supporting me in this blogging journey (whether it was a comment, a DM, a follow, or a like on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook or more importantly a vote for the Amara Awards).
Happy Holidays, XO
Suggested reading: A guide from NYT on How to Be More Empathetic.