Empathy: The most essential quality of mankind

Author : Haseena Kabeer (DTM)

Assistant Professor (English)

Department of Humanities

Vivekananda Global University, Jaipur

Past Area Director C3, Toastmasters International, USA


In this modern world, where we lack human values and codes of conducts, to remain empathetic is really a blessing. As human beings, certainly at a stage where we are busy creating our selfish worlds we often forget to understand and consider the condition others are surrounded by and thus we keep moving towards the materialistic gains that please us. To be empathetic takes more courage since, we have to wear the shoes of others and thus understand and consider what they are going through. This is a broad, general opinion based on one dimensional views and experiences. But to be fair, empathy and compassion should be more than cheap sentiment and words. 

Its a common misconception that empathy is the ability to understand the feeling of a fellow human being however when the whole world went through a pandemic and millions were stuck by themselves in lockdowns; we understood the meaning of being empathetic towards ourselves as well. As human beings we are wired to be hard on ourselves and lean more towards someone else giving us the validation that we have been craving. But being alone in quarantine stripped us from that advantage and the only person we could look up to, to shower kindness was the person standing in the mirror. 

Although, the question here arises is that how long the empathy last .The best way is bringing back the traumatic memories where someone similar to our condition has shown compassion towards us. Beyond geographical, cultural and religious boundaries people helped each other in the best way they could. Money and materialistic inclinations is just a part of our life not the heart. This kind of an understanding itself is a lesson for all of us. Life won’t give us a second chance to be considerate. At work places when everyone is running the rat race, empathy plays a significant role in making the workplace a better place to survive. It not only improves efficiency of work but also helps in creating a connection with the para workers. It reduces anxiety and creates a healthy environment. Empathy is more about finding the reason behind the sadness of the other human being and for this; one has to be the change. Expecting the change from others is not enough rather we should create a sense of belongingness among others. Once we learn to be compassionate when that inner critic starts to act up it will be easier to showcase the same consideration for others.

During the last two years when the humankind was going through the worst of times we have seen in centuries, people got the opportunity to be more compassionate since every next person was suffering with the loss of the loved ones. We gained a brand new outlook. We understood that life is meaningful when we spend our valuable times taking proper care of ourselves as well as with our families. With a pinch of self-love and spoonful of empathy and compassion towards others we can have a recipe of a perfect world. (The author has his own study and views)