Occupy Wall Street: Empathy

Occupy Wall Street: Empathy

There are many ways to categorize people. We first do it visually, by their physical appearances; The clothes that they wear, the color of their skin, the car that they drive, etc. Then we do it socially, by their business cards, their friends, their status in society. Only after we get to know them, do we care about their personality, their beliefs, and their dependability in given situations. That is why we misjudge people all the time. We are not able to distinguish between a truly manipulative person, a psychopath, and a caring person, because we are looking at the wrong things.

When I take a break from my daily work routine and visit an Occupy event to take a few photos, I feel like I am among different category of people. Most of the people in these protests have one thing in common; empathy. They have the capacity to recognize the feelings and experiences of others. In a dog-eat-dog world, where empathy and compassion are regarded and promoted as weaknesses, where everyone is a loser except a select few, and where one is judged only by their appearance and how useful they are to someone else's grand interests, why would anyone continue to harbor feelings of empathy and compassion?

Although many religions claim that morality is a human-only quality, it turns out that cooperation, consolation, empathy and reciprocity are common in the animal kingdom. Empathy increases our collective chances of survival. The question is, how much empathy is the right amount? Should we be caring for anyone besides ourselves and immediate families, or, should be concerned for the well being of all of humanity? The answer is not all that complicated. If there is something we can do that benefits both ourselves and those around us, then we should opt for that rather than the option that excels us at the expense of those around us.

Empathy causes personal and social conflict; What is one to do when faced with greed, stupidity, oppression, and manipulation? When the so preached message of Jesus becomes "every man for himself", the government functions as the facilitator of "the few", when corporations become the oppressors of the 99%, and when the majority follows a philosophy of "the survival of the fittest" in which everyone but the very fittest is conditioned to feel like a loser? Do we strip ourselves of our nature, of empathy and compassion, and join them, or, do we cling on to our human side and try to stand up as the protestors at Occupy Wall Street have done? Empathy and compassion are not weaknesses - they are strengths. Repressing and suppressing empathy has consequences, both personally and socially...

More Occupy photos.

Song of the Day: Why Can't We Be Friends? - War (1975)
<< PreviousNext >>








Feed SubscriptioneMail SubscriptionContact

Copyright © 2010-2017 - ThirstyFish.com