• 68°

What we need is more empathy

To The Editor:

There is a lot of fear, hate, aggression and hostility in the world today.

Unfortunately, I feel that social media has only made things worse, it gives every voice a platform to share with the world in one single click in an instant with no second thought or editing done at times. It gives people a place to find other like-minded people, and it is easy to search social media and other platforms to help feed the fire of whatever point you are arguing, with little thought of the source.

What this world needs in these uncertain and challenging times is more empathy. Before writing a social media status and hitting send, think not only are you getting your point across, but how might your words or point be seen by other people. It is easy to stoke the fire of the people who see the world as you do, but how might your words be interpreted by someone else?

I see a lot of people complaining about having to wear a mask when going to the store. But, how might someone who has lost a loved one to COVID-19 feel when they see this? I’m sure they would wear a mask 24-7 if it meant getting their loved one back. Maybe wearing a mask in the store isn’t too much of a sacrifice. If the experts are right, you may save a life. If the experts are wrong, you wore a mask in Walmart.

I see people post about losing our heritage or rewriting history by bringing down statues. But, what about those people in the community that may not see those statues as proud heritage, but a stark reminder of a time when people of color were enslaved and had no rights? Have you thought to ask your black friend what they feel when they see these statues?

I see people post statuses complaining about protestors and how there is rioting and looting going on. Think for a minute about why the protesting is going on, isn’t that why the protests are happening, not to focus on how to protest, but why the protests are happening. Imagine what it would take for you to get so upset that you would go to the street and march, it’s already at that point for some people now.

Before you post something on social media, before you react to something you see on the news or online, take a moment to think about it. Think not only about your feelings, but about the feelings of your neighbors, your family, your coworkers, your fellow citizens.

Very rarely is any issue either right or wrong, black or white, we all have different perspectives, and sometimes you need to consider the perspective of others and realize their perspective matters just as much as yours. Then, maybe, we can work towards living in communities that communicate and support instead of argue and rip apart.

Jeffrey Sargent