Who Needs Empathy?


Who needs empathy?

What value is there to the exercise of displacing ourselves from our situation for a moment to try and experience the world from a completely different point of view?

Is that something any of us average people in the West can even do if we tried?

Even if it is, why would we want to?

How and why would anyone living inside a first world country imagine (or even accurately measure) the pain of someone living outside of a first world country or that of someone trying to get into a first world country?

Why would they choose that and interrupt their enjoying the bounty of so many wonderful distractions – is it even possible to resist the Cokes, Pepsis, Chik-Fil-As, Facebook posts, tweets, big and small screens, an endlessly running river of entertainment, an enchanting fire to stare into hypnotically, indefinitely?

Just turn the faucet on. it’s a goddam utility. Twist the knob and the water – it just flows:


Somehow, the definition of empathy got fuzzed along the way. Fuzzed out.

How did that happen? How did the vast majority of us get the idea that empathy is thinking everyone thinks the same way we do?

Who cares? Goes against everything the West has built.

Why would we want to experience someone else’s pain while immersed in a culture custom built to assist us with ignoring our own, a perfect machine designed with every intention of distracting ourselves from the source of our damage at the cost of our own recovery, redemption and fulfillment?

Who needs empathy?

<end riff>

Hat tip to @syntaxjunkie for the subtle inspiration.