We create our own distance from others. Either we refuse to acknowledge viewpoints other than our own or we deny others human dignity. We rationalize events as insignificant or we simply pretend people don't exist. We desensitize and dehumanize. We perpetuate our lack of empathy when we continuously read or hear of "Gunmen in Nigeria Kill 21 Sleeping Students" , " 67 Die in Kenyan Mall Siege" or" Bus Blast in Pakistan Kills 17". "They" are barbarians, "they" don't believe what we believe, "they" must all deserve what happened to them. Unless tragedy knocks on your own door, a statistic remains a statistic. We know there was a living, breathing human life behind each news headline number, a man, woman or child who felt love, hate, passion and pain but we distance ourselves. We ignore or push away the incredible sadness to avoid thinking of our own mortality.
Feeling that emptiness and sadness is an essential part of our own humanity. Writer, actor, comedian and gifted storyteller Louis CK shares a personal poignant moment of his own human experience in the video above.
“Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities.” penned
(below is a link to six ideas for inspiring empathy)