Catholic Things

This Is Something We Often Overlook


Have you ever turned on the news and wondered what exactly went wrong? It seems as if every time we turn on the news, or pull it up on our phones or computers, something else has gone wrong or someone has made someone else angry. Our world seems to be filled with negativity and people are willing to do anything and everything to get where they want to be.

And I think it all boils down to one thing:

We live in a world that lacks empathy.
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Okay, but what is empathy, exactly?

According to Merriam-Webster, empathy is “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.”

Clarification, please.

I understand this to mean that we try to understand or be aware of something without having gone through it ourselves.

And I think this is where our world runs into problems.

We and our world are becoming selfish when we should be selfless.
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We as human beings have hardwired into our brains the need to survive and doing what needs to be done to achieve survival. But we’ve gotten to where we take it too far. We confuse our needs with our wants. We think up dreams and will go to any length to achieve our dreams or goals. We argue with those whose opinions are different from ours.

And our selfishness gets in the way of truly connecting with others.

Because of our selfishness, we don't truly listen to those we encounter.
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When we converse with someone else, how often do we hear part of what they say and immediately begin to formulate what we’re going to say next? When was the last time you actually listened to what the other person was saying? When was the last time you let them finish before starting to even think about your response?

This is where I believe empathy comes in.

Maybe if we begin to truly listen to those around us, our selfishness will turn into selflessness.
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And I think that in listening, we’ll also begin to understand how similar we actually are to others. We’ll begin to see that we all have dreams that we’re chasing. We’ll begin to see that we all have desires that have been placed on our hearts.

And I think there’s something deeper that’ll happen when we try to understand:

We'll begin to see ourselves in other people.
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Not only do we all have dreams and desires, but we’ll begin to see that at the core, we’re all the same.

But how are we all the same?

We've all been created by God and we're all on a journey home.
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So, I have a challenge for you:

Try to practice empathy. Begin to truly listen to those you encounter. Try to see yourself in them, even if you struggle to see it. Try to see them and remember that God created them and loves them with His entire being.

Until next time, I hope you have a good day!

If you have any questions or comments about this post, please leave a comment down below. If you liked the post, please share it on social media (the buttons are below). And if you’d like to receive updates from me, please sign up for the email community either down below or in the sidebar.


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