**As a belated 2015 New Years Resolution, I decided I would write a daily (or, almost daily, I know some days I just won’t be able to find the time) blog answering a thought provoking question from a long list of questions I found here in a quest of self exploration.
Today’s Chosen Question :
If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
– Before I answer the question, it has been a handful of days since I have done a blog like this and I feel awful because I really wanted to commit to doing these daily with the only exception being a specific circumstance pertaining to that specific day and I have slacked a bit. I will try not to slack even when I get really busy (last week I worked a TON and my work takes a lot of energy out of me so when I get home I just want to curl up in bed!) But thats not a good enough excuse. So I will try harder to be more consistent! Now on to the question at hand.
Oh boy. What would I teach? The first thing that comes to mind is something I am not sure can be taught. Over the last fifteen years or so, I have noticed a drastic decline in peoples level of empathy toward other people. When I was younger, if you made a mistake and you were willing to own up to it, people were generally pretty understanding. THey WANTED to understand why you did what you did, they wanted to know more about you. Now when people make mistakes, it seems like other people jump for the opportunity to crucify them like they are worthless and I have a LOT of concerns about that and about where humanity is heading. I would want to teach people that they need to understand that everyone has a history, everyone has baggage and everyone has certain behaviors that are associated with that baggage that might not make sense to you, but that doesn’t mean they are bad people. Sure, there ARE actually bad people, but I am not referring to sociopaths who manipulate and fuck with and hurt people for the pleasure of it because they are born without the brain chemistry to understand the difference between right and wrong : I am talking about people who seem to think that no one has feelings except themselves. I think that if someone hurts you, its very important that your first instinct would be “Why did you do this?” Intent makes a HUGE difference. I know personally that if someone hurts me but they are willing to explain themselves and take responsibility and acknowledge my humanity, feelings and autonomy, I am able to forgive and forgot but it is one hundred times harder when someone hurts you and just laughs at it like you/your feelings don’t exist.
Circling back to the actual question, I would want to sit down with people one by one who have hurt others and take them on a journey through the eyes of the other person in an attempt to help them understand the repercussions of their behavior on others. But again… I am not sure if that is something that -can- be taught. If you grow up in a world where you are coddled, never held responsible for your actions, allowed and even rewarded for treating others like crap, the damage to your psyche might be too great to reverse. I honestly don’t know but empathy is the one single most important thing a person should comprehend, in my opinion.