Many of us have compassion for the well-being of mankind.
While compassion is to recognize the suffering of others and to try to reach out to them, empathy is being able to feel the pain others are feeling. To have these qualities is a gift, but to have empathy one must know compassion. They must understand that everyone is going through a journey and has their own share of struggles and deserves some kind of kindness.
Many of us lack these traits because we are not used to seeing the struggles of other people’s lives. When we often live in comfort and our own luxurious life, we forget that there’s people out there who don’t have what we have, and we often take what we have for granted. Not only that, but we also think that we are the ones going through it all, because we are the character of our own lives. Although this is usual, our life loses meaning because we don’t appreciate the little things that to many people in this world could be everything, such as a having a loved one, food, water, and shelter.
When we can’t recognize the struggles of other individuals, they become a problem to us. We think that we are the ones suffering, but they could be too. However, when we all understand one another and each other’s struggles, we are more likely to come together and get along in this world.
There are millions of lives being taken away every day, every second, and every minute. I want to raise awareness of the importance of all of humanity. To build empathy, we must embrace diversity, equality, peace, and love. We must believe that this world is filled with humans no matter what race, gender, religion, culture, and ethnicity. How would someone feel to have everything they want to be taken away? This is the same thing that one shouldn’t want for others.
There are many ways to build our empathy, so let’s begin.
1. Practice Gratitude.
Gratitude takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. When you begin to recognize the blessings all around you, you begin to want less, because you have what you need. The less we want, the more likely we are happier. Every good thing becomes a surprise, and so how do the great things appear then, can you imagine?
Changing our wants and desires to something valuable, such as creating experiences with loved ones, having a grocery list to cook a healthy meal, having fitness goals, academic goals, hobby goals, and so on can be helpful. When we spend our money on things that are more important, our values begin to stand out and we are happier.
Indeed, when we begin to want only to be happy in the simple things in life and just be involved in self-growth, we become grateful and happier.
Before you go to bed, try some gratitude journaling. It’s a wonderful experience because you can list everything amazing that happened in your day no matter how small. A hug from a loved one, laugh with a friend, a delicious, cooked meal, walk in the park, your health, having a good nap, and more. There is always something to be grateful for, so never be discouraged when making this list. The more you do it, the better you get at it, and you begin to realize that you want nothing more than what you have.
You’re probably wondering, how does gratitude help with empathy? It really does because it allows us to see that there’s people out there who deserve the things we do. It allows us to let go of our pride and selfish desires, and into a spiritual realm where we want good for all of humanity. It’s a feeling, a feeling of love and devotion, that we were taught by our parents: to give back. The only way we can give back is by being grateful.
Through gratitude, we learn compassion and empathy. We don’t look down on those who don’t have what we have, but we somehow end up in tears or feelings of sadness because of the innocent humans who are losing their lives all around the world whether from lack of support, food, shelter, or all things mentioned. Every good human being wants good for other human beings. That is what it means to be human and if we don’t have these qualities, it is something that should be worked on and developed.
The more people learn empathy and compassion, the better this world will get because we will all learn from one another. Think about it, what kind of person would you like to meet? How would you want someone to treat you? Be that person because the world needs more of that.
2. Read about the struggles and sufferings of people around the world. (History counts.)
Reading about the history and struggles of humanity shows how important peace is in this world. The more we read about this in school, it can be heartbreaking to learn about war, division, and hostility. But can you imagine? Things like this are still going on in the world today. Everything that is happening right now is history whether we know it or not.
When we read, our knowledge begins to increase, which is power. Ever since I was a child, I enjoyed reading, and all I would feel is empathy for the lives lost in each chapter of a book. Whether it’s a novel, history book, short story, poem, memoir, essay, or article, anything could add up to me learning about the world.
You may think, just reading about negativity, how will that help me be a better person? Won’t that make me even more negative? No, because you aren’t reading it to feed yourself negativity. You’re reading it to be more aware. You can always read a happy and positive book right afterwards, or any other time of the day. If you make time occasionally to take notice of how people need your help, you’ll appreciate yourself in the long run. By this I mean all people.
3. Do Good for the World.
If you’re someone who believes in love, never intend to do anything to harm another human being. No human being deserves to suffer and be mistreated or misused. No human being deserves to die. Find a way to make a difference in the world, in the best way you think—small or big.
When you believe in good, you will want to do good. You will then begin to dislike anything that is bad and be away from it. Be a part of a good cause, organization. Find a way to help locally or join volunteering. There are many ways to help people, so be in the right path.
When you reach out to people, you will see what is happening in the world. When you give a hand, you’re already compassionate. When you’re feeling for others, you’re already empathetic. Being involved in the community only makes you aware of your capability to make a difference and how much of a hero you really are.
You will see the homeless, for example, and if you have a dollar in your pocket, hey, you can hand it to them. A little love can take you to far places. There are many people who are in need in this world, and if you’re not ready to volunteer or join an organization, you can do good deeds in secret. You can do charity, or give a little smile, and that could be enough to heal a person’s life. The more you give back, the more blessed you become.
4. Be that Friend Everyone Needs.
Sometimes, even being a good friend can be something that can help the world be better. Does your friend need a shoulder to cry on? Be that shoulder. Do they need to tell you something? Give them your listening ears. Do they need your words of comfort or advice? Give it to them. Encourage them, support them, and give them love. This could be everything to them, and it could change their life.
When you make a difference in one person’s life, it becomes a ripple effect and passes on to many others. This can be important because you will see that you will become a positive role model. This world needs more people like that, and you can do this. When we serve as a good influence on others, we begin to change the world.
We need more good influence. What kind of person should we be around? The people we surround ourselves with are who we become, but if we can be a leader, they will follow. And if they don’t follow, we are there to help them whenever they struggle, but we will not follow anyone’s wrongdoing.
Empathy is all about letting go of judgement and instead noticing the emotions of another person, feeling this love for them in return for it. Compassion is taking action to make sure that they have that support.
5. Write a letter or a card.
Writing a letter or a card shows that you care about a person and wish them well. Whatever special celebration it is for, such as a birthday, a thoughtful card really can be worth so much more to someone. Just them knowing that can show that you care more than anything else. Sometimes, it’s not the money, but the thought, value, and intention you put into giving something to someone.
Family and friends are important, and many people in this world don’t have that. Writing a letter or card shows that you appreciate your family and friends, and they will know that. It can be how you’re grateful for them, how you care to know how they’re doing, hoping they’re well, saying congratulations, and so on. A card is special and sincere; it holds so many special meanings.
6. Love your Family!
Your family is a part of this world. They are what you are doing everything for. They taught you values that you passed on to others. You need them, and they need you. Be there for your family and support them in whatever way you can. Loving them could be like being a friend, but even more. You are the one who lived a long life with these people.
Think about this. Who is family to you? What can you do to support them and show them that you care? Do you just love them because you love God? Do you thank them for all they do for you? Love your family and think about these questions and how you help them with your strong empathy and compassion skills.
There are many ways to empathize and be more compassionate with family members. You can start by spending time with them, listening to them, and giving back to them. You can give them a hug of comfort and peace that can make them feel loved. You can be there for them in ways that could mean the world to them.
Meditation is the best way to empathize and be more compassionate with others. It allows us to learn to let go and let God. It reminds us to be kinder to ourselves so we can pass it on to others. Meditation is like sleep—important for us to be centered throughout the day and get the sleep we deserve during the night.
When we meditate, we recognize where in our bodies that we are tense, what emotions we are feeling, and what thoughts are racing inside our minds. It teaches us to be self-aware and understand ourselves on a deep level. This gives us the opportunity to release our cool breaths in the right places, accepting and acknowledging the emotions and tensity. Knowing where we lie emotionally and physically health wise is the secret to giving ourselves what we need to be there for others.
To understand others, we must learn to understand ourselves first. This helps us grow as a person because we are learning to be our own best friend. If we can be there for ourselves, we don’t have anything to worry about, because we aren’t going to expect from others. We will be able to be there for others for that reason because we are giving back to ourselves enough to not run out to give back to others.
The loving-kindness meditation is one that can allow us to cultivate love for all of mankind. One must start small from one person at a time, imagining them soaking in your love and happiness. The more you meditate, the more positive energy you will have stored inside to share with others.
There’s nothing better than lifting someone else up. As you begin to practice these six ways to be more empathetic and compassionate, you will begin to see that the world will be better than you saw it before. You’ll even feel good about yourself that you’re doing something that is valuable and worthy, enough to brighten someone’s day. Let’s come together and make this world a better place.