Empathy is a handful. Its difficulty resides in its simplicity, and we usually shy away from too simple tasks — they scare us.
Here’s a thought: we should think intently and write more about happiness. Take a moment to be grateful for something or someone, or think about something that makes you happy. Practising empathy is one road towards this path — did you know there’s no angry way to say bubbles? I dare you, try it for a few times and laugh at the silliness of it 🙂
Practice openness and acceptance through the eyes of empathy, not because it’s a must-do. More like a feel-do. And then, practice seeing the others and thinking really, really hard if they’re actually the others and us, us.
What if we’re same-same but different? What if we take this limited perspective of us vs others and shift the angle; and let ourselves be amazed by the possibilities that lie ahead.
Empathy is not a button we press to activate a state, neither it’s something we can do only when we feel like it. Empathy is our mind in motion, acting as if and constantly challenging us to be more. More understanding, more forgiving, more present. And since it’s a balance exercise, it’s also challenging us to be less judgemental, less fisty, less absorbed in vacuum activities like mindlessly browsing social media or checking our emails whilst somebody is talking to us.
Next time you find yourself in a difficult situation with someone you see as the other, try and find the similarities that can bring you closer, and focus less on what can distance you more. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.