How can we stop this “culture of indifference”?

Sep 9, 2019 | Guest Author

There are moments in which I am very aware of Pope Francis’ invitation to “get out of the culture of in-difference”. How can we do it?

Often the lack of empathy in the small things of life can lead us to grow numb to the pain and harden our hearts. We grow indifferent to great sufferings such as hunger and war, by first having a lack of empathy for what happens in our local community. How sad! What’s happening to us? Are we losing the capacity for empathy? Empathy should encourage us to put ourselves in the shoes of another person and understand how they are living. This capacity stands as a base for feeling compassion for others.

Compassion, “suffering with”, begins with empathy. Empathy awakens us to realize what goes through another person’s heart and to experience from their point of view. Why is it hard for us to put ourselves in each other’s shoes? It might be because we simply do not want to take off our own shoes. If we do not take off our own shoes, we will never be able to walk in someone else’s. It is necessary to take off one’s shoes and get out of our selfish ways to understand what another person is going through.

To empathize with another is to look with his eyes. It helps us to realize what things could hurt that per-son and avoid those things. Also it helps us realize what could bring them joy and then do exactly that.

To cultivate empathy is to lay the foundations of compassion as a habit and as a culture, which makes us leave the culture of indifference and enter into a more compassionate mission.

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We pray that the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick confer to those who receive it and their loved ones the power of the Lord and become ever more a visible sign of compassion and hope for all