We currently exist in a time where confusion and chaos are consistently occurring. It’s disheartening to see people ignore these problems if they’re not being directly affected by them. However, apathy does not ignite change. Rather than ignore what we do not want to face or do not feel we have to face, we must harness empathy — the ability to understand and share in the feelings of another. We do not (and should not) have to be affected by the problems of others to want to rectify the struggles of others. Here are a couple ways to expand your worldview and become more empathetic:
- Examine your attitude regarding those that surround you, and suspend any harmful preconceived notions you have.
- Recognize the privilege which allows you to not concern yourself with the issues of others and focus instead on how those different from you live.
- Really listen to people. Do not listen to respond; do not listen to show people how good of a listener you are. Really hear what people are saying and how they are saying it.
- When you do engage with people, ask them directly how you can help and how they would like to be helped. (That is, help people how they need to be, and not how you think they need to be).
- Do not stop looking out for who cannot help themselves, or those who need a boost in order to help themselves. (Do so through the aforementioned really listening.)
By looking out for others, you can make a difference in someone’s life. The only thing left to do is start.