>15 Minute Empathy

>They all seem to be the same. Proudly toting guns like toys and toting ideas that are just as venomous. They blend into the melting pot of society, just waiting to go off. When the blast finally takes place, those affected seem to multiply. Soon enough, we are one mass-blob of comfort in all the chaos. It is as if the blast set off every empathy button in every human being across one nation.

And I think that is the idea that buries itself deep into my skin and has an irritable itch. The idea that it takes a person who is a ticking time bomb to finally let lose their rage in some massacre and then, and only then, can people feel something for other people. And you know those people; they’re the unknown faces across the nation that, even if you don’t know them personally, you somehow feel connected to them because you saw what happened on the news or read their story in the paper. But once the news is done with the story and the story itself is done with its 15 minutes of unintentional-fame, the empathy button is no longer clicked to its “On” position.

So I wonder… I wonder why it takes earthquakes in Haiti or Spain, hijacked planes, deranged human beings, or any other of Mother Nature’s pains to awaken the compassion within us.  None can deny that it’s truly there, because without it we would be soulless. I’m not kidding. If you go to onto Thesaurus.com and put in “Empathy” a synonym shown is “soul”. So does that mean when the breaking news of the week has faded and our monotonous routine of life continues on – we have all become soulless… again? I don’t know.

However, I do know that I cannot jump the bandwagon of 15 minute empathy, because the bandwagon always comes to a stopping point. If it takes these great calamities to unite us for a brief moment and that’s when we realize we are not alone, then there is a lot of work to be done. Work that is not going to involve the flash of breaking news bulletins. It has to be every single day, even for the things that go unseen or unheard. I can’t tell you what horrible tragedy will happen next, but I can say that my soul has already been awakened to the compassion within me. Surely, it is not of me at all and I take no credit, but I do say that if we can understand that there is wrong in this world, then we can unite every single day; not once-every-tragedy.

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