I have a feeling this has been said before and I’m just remembering it from somewhere else and rewording it but I’m a fan of words and sometimes I put them together in a way that makes sense to me and I hope to others, so here goes.
I feel like every person that you hate is just someone that you haven’t had a chance to get to know well enough, that you haven’t had a chance to empathize with. I know myself that if the few people in the world that I hate, and there are a couple, five specifically, if I had gotten to known them better or still yet somehow got a chance to know them better and they shared enough of themselves with me (which is an entirely other topic and something that not everyone is capable of entirely or really anyone because of the way the world teaches us to close ourselves off); well, in time I wouldn’t hate them anymore. I’d have to let it go because I would eventually learn the how and why of why they hurt me and I would have to choose empathy. There wouldn’t be any way around it for me, I’ve discovered that especially recently.
Empathy and understanding aren’t to be confused with acceptance, I did that for a while. I could understand why people caused me pain or trouble and I felt for them but I didn’t realize that it didn’t mean that I had to accept the behavior that was the fruit of their own pain. Because I believe as well that when we hurt others we are just in pain and we don’t know where to put it, we don’t know how to heal it, oftentimes we don’t even know where it comes from or that it’s there in the first place.
Some of us are more likely to hurt ourselves, some of us to hurt others but more likely we are all a mix of the two, all of us just stumbling through life in pain and some of us manage it better than others, or find healthier ways to numb it, some of us learn with help how to heal it but I think for too long that’s been a privilege of those who can afford it. Or who grew up in an environment that fosters healing. Or really if you were born and raised as a girl or woman, because we are allowed that, it doesn’t threaten our femininity like the world has told men it threatens their very manhood. But if we could get that into our heads and hearts, if we could not fight the knowing and understanding and the healing and open ourselves up we could spare ourselves and others so much more pain.
I mess up on the daily and I’m far from perfect but I’m trying. I’ve come to the conclusion that trying is everything, no one is perfect and no one is ever going to be but it’s the ability or more aptly the openness and willingness to try, that is everything, at least it is to me.
Just try. That’s all you can do.
And that’s everything, it really is.
How should I reply?
- Read the thoughts carefully to understand the emotions behind them.
- Take your time to think before your respond.
- Your words matter. Use them to show support.
- Try to be as honest and open-minded as possible.
- Personal responses go a long way in keeping the community kind, loving and empathetic.