Just a little brighter

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. —Bonnie Jean Wasmund

If you asked me what is the greatest thing a person can do for another person, I would reply – “share their pain”. There is no great philosophy behind this and I am not trying to be all pretentious by speaking of such deep things. In fact, this is not deep at all. It is simple and it is a matter of fact.

Empathy is something that all of us should try to cultivate and nurture within ourselves. Some of us pretend to have it but it’s all just a facade. When you see a person who has no feet, do you feel pity for that person? Or do you empathize? Yes, so many people confuse the two feelings. Empathy is when you see yourself in that person’s place and feel their pain of having no feet.

Many youngsters of today like to pretend that they care for unfortunate people and animals. They have long discussions and debates on how people should be punished for cruelty to animals and how politicians are corrupt and how they should be making better the lives of handicapped people and the other unfortunate ones. But then all they do is talk. If they really knew how it felt not to have basic necessities, they wouldn’t just be talking. They would be out there doing their part.

Have you ever given a thought to how the person serving you coffee at the coffee shop feels when he sees people of his own age hanging out with friends and spending money so freely? Ever wondered how the kid begging on the street feels when he sees you licking your candy? Ever wondered how it must feel like being a street dog going through garbage bins looking for food? And what about the janitor who cleans the washroom after you leave it dirty? Do you think he likes cleaning up after you?

If you haven’t ever given a thought to how these people feel…. Maybe it is time to start now. Scroll back up and read the quote at the start of this post by Bonnie Jean Wasmund. Now it might make more sense. Let’s try to make someone feel good today. Let’s start by trying to put ourselves in their shoes and looking at things from their points of view. We may not be able to bring about a great change in their lives, but we can try and be more sensitive. And if possible, let us try to make their day just a little better and just a little brighter.