Today’s post for the Resolution Revolution Blog Series is brought to you by the Toddler Mama from Hold Me, Don’t Hold Me (a perfect name for a parenting blog if you ask me). The ever witty Toddler Mama sets aside humor for today to talk about the one thing that we as a society need the most but unfortunately seem to be losing focus of. So read on and reflect, and be sure to leave your opinions and feedbacks in the comments!
Let’s Get Touchy Feely:The Importance of Empathy
Post by: Toddler Mama
In my previous life, before I was a baby wranglin’, plan cancelin’, crusher of dreams (I SAID GET OFF THE TV STAND!), I used to work with animals. More specifically, I was a vet tech, working at a handful of small animal hospitals across the nation. It was fun, fast paced work, in an environment where you could learn new things every day. During the 10 years I was a tech, I learned there is no safe end of a cat, birds are indeed as scary as Alfred Hitchcock portrayed, and maybe most importantly, a little empathy goes a long way.
From the fearful dog cowering in the corner, to the outspoken and upset owner huffing and puffing about the long wait, there was no lack of opportunity to witness the value and power of empathy, when used to diffuse conflict. Empathy, it seemed, was able to cross the border between species, genders, economic classes, age gaps, and races. It provided a bridge where communication could more easily flow, and where mutual understanding was given the footing to take root.
Yet, for some reason, empathy seems to take a backseat to many other human emotions when dealing with any kind of interaction these days. We are so quick to judge, and our judgments are then often publicly and proudly displayed as truths. From your breastfeeding coworker who takes a break every 3 hours to pump, to the protesters at the Ferguson and NYC protests, and just about everything in between, our lack of empathy towards others is preventing us from being able to reach an understanding. And it’s in this understanding where true change can start to happen.
For my reverse New Year’s resolution, I would have people put down the kettle bells, and start flexing their empathy muscles instead. In this selfie-obsessed society, it’s high time we turn the focus back around, and start really absorbing what is going on around us.