Empathy, or how I learned to stop worrying and love others.

edited October 2014 in Main

The human brain is a complex thing, perhaps the most complex thing in the entire universe. It can also be your worst enemy, at times crushing you down or overwhelming you with thoughts, emotions, desires, etc, etc. Everyone has problems, everyone has hopes, everyone has limits.

If this were a perfect world, everyone would be supporting of ones problems, the environment would be suitable to allow for various creative talents, and everyone would be respectful of one's limits.

...Alas, we don't live in a perfect world.

That's not to say it's a terrible world. In fact perfection in itself is an illusion, one we can't define on paper. We can however make it a better world, but in order to do so, the individual must make themselves better.

If suffering through various events has taught me anything, it has helped me reach a greater level of understanding with the human mind. This allows me to look at another person and look beyond their appearance, their attitude, their behaviors and have a certain degree of respect. This person is living their life, they have problems, emotions, and limits that shape them. No one mind is the same and the human mind is complex enough to allow for many different combinations of people.

Over the internet there's only one emotion: words. And writing is an action that's powerful and yet one where empathy seems scarce. I can go on YouTube and watch a video game review and look at the comments; I see people trolling, I see aggressive homophobic/racial slurs, I see a lot of stuff that would raise eyebrows.

The person writing all that could be saying it in jest, but that argument rings hallow because there's no sign that it was anything other than attention grabbing nonsense made to shock and alienate people.

So it's tempting to look at the anonymous fool and call him out as a monster. But that monster has emotions, thoughts, and desires like everyone else does as well as the same complex brain fueling their behavior. Who knows what goes on in their head...Is it evil? Does it mean something else to the writer than what it meant for you?

We cannot fully understand others. All we know about the other person besides their outward appearance is that they have a complex human mind with emotions, thoughts, and desires. They have hopes, problems, and limits.

As such, we're all victims in a way. We have to learn to control our minds and behavior and be open to change. It's hard not to hate others who commit unspeakable deeds of various degrees, but find it in yourself not to be angry, but empathetic. And especially be empathetic towards yourself. Know you are a person with a human brain that can cause unease and forgive yourself and others. The truly strong possess that power.

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