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A Need For Empathy

I remember keeping my eyes glued to the television after Katrina destroyed New Orleans. I had never seen such destruction in my life. I was horrified, but mourned with the people in their losses. My wife and I visited New Orleans a few years ago and the remnants of Katrina are still visible from the air. The pictures and images of the Superdome are still etched in my mind. New Orleans will never be what it was prior to that catastrophic event.

Hurricane Ian had done considerable damage across Florida. At one time, 2.67 million homes and businesses were without power. The number is decreasing as crews work around the clock to restore electricity so people can begin rebuilding. President Biden stated it will take years to rebuild the region. He is correct.

Empathy is the capacity to put yourself in the place of someone who is heavy burdened. It answers the question, "How would I want to be treated if I were in that situation? What attitude would I want people to share or communicate with me?" Empathy requires that you care about people. You care about their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual conditions, conditions they may or may not be responsible for. People lacking empathy look to fault or blame people for their conditions. Those lacking empathy believe something could have been done to prevent the outcomes. That is not empathy. That is called condemnation.

There are horrific stories in the media about tragic events of loss, death, separation, and destruction. The graphic pictures and images put before us paint a bleak picture of seemingly impossible restoration. Some losses will never be restored. In 2020 my basement flooded due to failed water pumps in my neighborhood. We lost almost everything in our basement. Most importantly, I lost pictures of my family and other precious artifacts, books, and other priceless possessions. It took my wife and I almost a year to gather ourselves emotionally.

During times like these hope and help are needed. People need to hear that things will be better, although they won't be entirely. People need to hear that someone cares enough to help where help is needed. Most importantly, people need to hear sincere care, and concern for the tragedies people experience. How can anyone with good conscience wake up and go about their normal routine, ignoring the heartbreaking sounds of grief from around the world?

We must begin to care about others as much as we care about ourselves, earnestly remembering it could be you.

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