To the Editor:
“Lack of empathy is tearing us apart,” so states an article in Wire.com.
“The U.S. is suffering from empathy deficit,” from Scientific American, 9/17/20.
Scholarly articles explain empathy deficit disorder as a lack of ability to feel, understand and resonate with another’s feelings; further, a good read, “What Unites Us” by Dan Rather, is also helpful.
Concern for this lack of compassion has reached such proportions that universities are establishing emergency resource centers, addressing lack of empathy in society (Washington Post, 4/30/20).
A need for unity and reconciliation in our divided country has been discussed in prior letters, but first, we must overcome our inability to show compassion toward our fellowman.
Webster’s defines compassion as “the urge to help, to show sympathy,” while empathy is “the ability to share in another’s emotions.” One could say they are synonymous.
To start, we have learned that a top-down leadership strategy in America has not worked; therefore, a bottom-up effort must come from each of us. As we interact with others, we should be mindful of the meaning of forgiveness, kindness, understanding, humility, love and ethical/religious values while expressing these emotions in a meaningful way in our everyday life. By sincerely listening to other points of view and establishing common values, we can reach consensus and unity.
Yes, this is serious stuff. We in the Lowcountry must realize nothing has changed; as individuals, we must lead by example. Compassion and empathy starts with you and me.