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4 COMMENTS

  1. Empathy doesn’t hurt. Being empathetic in a world filled with violence and cruelty is what hurts. It seems like they think the answer is protecting yourself from empathetic experiences, rather than working to eradicate violence and cruelty, which really cause the suffering.

    • Hi Steve 🙂
      My 5 cent on empathy 🙂
      I would say that empathy potentially hurts while at the same time being integral to finding meaning in life. And although it would be nice to eradicate violence and cruelty, I don’t think that will happen, but experiences rooted in empathy may very well fuel the ambition to reduce violence and cruelty. Although it is commendable not trying to shield oneself from being exposed to the pain of others it – I think – is advisable to choose a path of gradual exposure. Not all exposure to the suffering of others is constructive either – think of how parts of the media as well as politicians and others use our proclivity for empathy to manipulate huge numbers of people…

      • Your points are very well taken. I was merely objecting to “too much empathy” being blamed for suffering, when too much brutality is the real problem. And I agree 100%, the point of empathy is to create more cohesive communities where violence and brutality is minimized because it’s not something anyone wants to experience. So dampening empathy is not the answer, though you’re right that limiting exposure can be important to one’s sanity!