Some of us seem to totally lack empathy for others. Sadly the lack of empathy seems to be almost a requirement for GOP candidates these days. I know Paul Ryan who is one of the heroes on the Republican party celebrates his common bonds with his hero Ayn Rand who made it very clear that to her empathy is a severe handicap in society rather than an asset. Of course the lack of empathy is clearly shown by those who have voted more than fifty time to take affordable healthcare away from millions of our nation’s citizens.
Some among us just can’t or at least won’t let themselves imagine what life would be like if we were in someone else’s shoes….
Let’s get started here with two definitions from Wikipedia:
The ability to form new images and sensations that are not perceived through senses such as sight, hearing, or other senses. Imagination helps make knowledge applicable in solving problems and is fundamental to integrating experience and the learning process.
Empathy has many different definitions that encompass a broad range of emotional states, including caring for other people and having a desire to help them; experiencing emotions that match another person’s emotions; discerning what another person is thinking or feeling; and making less distinct the differences between the self and the other.
It also is the ability to feel and share another person’s emotions. Some believe that empathy involves the ability to match another’s emotions, while others believe that empathy involves being tenderhearted toward another person. Compassion and sympathy are two terms that many associate with empathy, but all three of these terms are unique. Compassion is an emotion we feel when others are in need, which motivates us to help them. Sympathy is a feeling of care and understanding for someone in need.
Maybe you also can see the perceived link between these two states? I have run across people who just don’t have much of a sense of imagination. Maybe they just have no imagination and literally can’t imagine themselves in someone else’s shoes. Maybe they are unable to conjure up images of themselves in a different life circumstance? Gladly I am definitely not part of that crowd, if it even exists. I seem to almost live in a world of my own imagination sometimes. I can imagine a world without war and killing. I can imagine a world where religious beliefs are found as a common bond between each of us instead of a reason to hate and kill someone different. I can imagine a world without the violence of guns. I am a dreamer. Maybe that is how I maintain my sanity in this insane world.