Facebook allows for people to be connected to people and information. The information shared, mostly opinion, can create good, bad and ugly waves of attitude and behavior. I’ve noticed several postings, blogs and videos on empathy, describing it as a curse to sensitive people who feel other’s emotions, negativity, thoughts, etc.
I went on Google to get other points of view on empathy. From different perspectives, empathy is a tool, a reaction, as well as a lifestyle.
I read an article on how psychotherapists use empathy in their work. (tool)
I read many articles on how empathy is a response to others’ energies.
Then I read the item below, on how empathy can be a positive lifestyle…
Empathism: Happiness through the Other
Joao Carlos Holland de Barcellos, April, 2007
translated by Debora Policastro
The Empathism is a doctrine that promotes happiness mainly through EMPATHY.
Empathy from em+Gr. Páthos, state of soul
Noun. the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in their situation
Empathy is a feeling that makes us feel what the others feel: if he/she suffers, I suffer. If he/she is happy, I am happy too.
The “others” are all the other beings that are related to us.
Therefore, empathism wants us to be happy not through selfishness or simple sensorial pleasures, but through our fellow creature’s happiness.
It is a way of promoting the altruism and goodness through the sensation this goodness causes in another person.
We all have basically the same mental apparatus which forms consciousness, thus, it is not very different if others feel pleasure or us. Pleasure is contributing to happiness and we must nourish it in everyone that can feel it.
Wayne Dyer says, “Change the way you look at this and the things you look at change.” This article made me look at the sense of empathy as a way of “paying forward” positive thoughts, happiness, cooperation, respect.
If we got out of the fear, the negative, the victim mentalities, and engaged empathy for the good of others and selves, what would our world be like? Food for thought…