Friday, April 8, 2011
Humans are susceptible to “sympathies and frailties of human nature.” These sympathies and frailties include emotional and intellectual inconsistency. As sentient beings, humans are capable of feeling empathy and compassion. Whether or not the aforementioned emotions are reasonable or logical in a given moment depends upon circumstances of that moment and where the reacting human being is “coming from,” that is, his/her life experience to date.
To feel and exhibit anger and resentment, a human must experience anger and resentment. To feel and exhibit empathy and compassion, a human must experience empathy and compassion. Ideally, the latter attributes are taught and experienced from birth, but this is not always the case. Nature endows humans with the potential for empathy and compassion, but that potential must be nurtured by a child’s environment in order for the seed to take root. Sometimes, the seed of compassion lays dormant until a child has the opportunity to venture out into a more worldly environment. If that same child remains in a cloistered environment into adulthood, its experience is limited to the beliefs of that specific faction of society.
Broadening one’s life experience aides in eliminating fear of others outside of one’s immediate environment. “To understand a wo/man, you’ve got to walk a mile in his shoes, whether they fit or not.”