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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Apathy, Sympathy and Epathy.

I mentioned this in the letter that I put up as the last post, so I thought I might expand on that a bit. Just going to look at each of them in turn, basically.

Apathy is fairly simple to get. It's not caring, not making a choice. Just ignoring whatever's happening and trying to lie in your own little world. It's fairly common, unfortunately, in today's world. You get a pretty big bunch of people that are apathetic - or perhaps that's just my generation; we are the 'lazy' generation after all. Apathy is pretty easy to do. (Generally speaking, at least, though in some cases sympathy may be easier.) It's also, unfortunately, pretty hard to get people out of. Change is difficult, so often it has to be more gradual.

Sympathy is prettty simple to get too. It's basically feeling sorry for someone. A lot of people would say that there's nothing wrong with this - I have to say, I disagree here. Most people don't want people just feeling sorry for them. There's a pretty big portion these days of people that are just sympathetic, as well; lots of people feeling sorry when they see the ads on TV, or get approached by someone at an event, or see someone struggling on the street. Ultimately, though, that's all sympathy is; sometimes there's a bit of people ranting and raving as well, but there's nothing really constructive there. Sympathy is also very easy, and it's also easy to get other people that way as well.

Empathy is the hard one. Empathy is walking a mile in someone's shoes to get to know them better and really understand where they're coming from and what they're going through. And, ultimately, not just wanting to do something about it, but also doing it. It's the rarest one you see, but it's the one that people need. Empathy is a difficult thing to do, which is why it's not as common as it should be. It's also very difficult for people to change to this, and very easy for them to slip out again back to one of the others. But it's so important that we give it our best.

That's it from me for today. Until next time.

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