Empathy…Where Are You?

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Lately, I’ve been viewing the world through glazed eyes. Perhaps I’m becoming a pessimist, but we are turning into a society that cares more about our social media reputation, place a high value on our own opinions, and care less about the people in the world around us. What happened to the days where cared for other people and helped a person in need?

A few weeks ago, I saw a homeless person and decided to give him some change. I was advised by a passerby that I was feeding a drug addiction. Did this fellow pedestrian know something I didn’t, or was he making a generalization because of a stereotype of homeless people? I stood dead in my tracks puzzled. Should I ask him what he’s using the money for, would I be condescending if I did?  Why did I give this homeless person money? And then I asked myself what my intent was in giving him money. The reality of it was that I didn’t care if the homeless person misused the money or not. My intent was not to feed a drug addiction, but rather to ensure that he could buy himself something he needed. Whether it be a piece of clothing, food or shelter for the night. My intent was to help him, and if I changed my thought process to align with the opinionated pedestrian, I could have potentially missed out on helping this individual, or someone in dire need in the future. I decided at that moment that I refused to change my thought process based on someone else’s opinion. The pedestrian may think of me as naïve for giving money, but those were his thoughts, not mine, and I wasn’t going to change my thought process to be accepted by him.

Too many times now a days we compromise ourselves to be socially accepted. We forget that as people we have our own thoughts and our own personal journeys to follow. We are often told that our opinions and actions were wrong. We start to doubt ourselves, but one thing we need to remember is what our intent was. Because at the end of the day, that is what matters the most. Was our intent good or was it bad? Did we seek to help someone or improve a situation or did we mean to cause harm? If your intent is honest and pure, there is nothing wrong with staying true to who you are.

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