Empathy, is it as simple as it sounds?

We live in a world full of judgement, criticism and personal perceptions of what other people’s actions should be. For a minute the word “empathy” is often mentioned but in practice, it’s less of a reality. Empathy in my own words constitutes of the ability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and try to understand what they are facing and in general going through before passing our personal judgement on them.

It is often quite easy to acknowledge the act of empathy to peers, people around us, yet find ourselves rarely putting our actions into practice. From my personal experience, there is a real true phase commonly known worldwide as “easier said than done” to be an absolute reality. This brings me to some lessons that may help us become more empathetic human beings.

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1) Disregard stereotypes

The first thing that I learnt which tends to help us as human beings to be in a better position to understand others is to disregard stereotypes. Though most of the times ignored, this means when we meet others in public or private gatherings, it is essential to have an open mind and avoid judging people based on what is commonly known as their attributes of their race or nationality or even continent. Ignoring what is commonly known as personal attributes of people and trying to get to know them is very essential in making a positive step in being an empathetic human being that this wonderful world demands and craves for in general.

2) Meditate

Benefits of meditation do not include only a proven medical recommendation by doctors to reduce stress; it has many more important benefits. Meditation can help us make our mind more focused and still. When one has better control over one’s mind and actions, one will likely be able to control negative thoughts that might come the way and channel positive thoughts which herein will help put oneself in other people’s shoes in any situation, hence becoming more empathetic human being. Explore more on our self-development program and online courses.

3) Improve personal gestures

As a student from Africa, Tanzania who moved to a new country and continent to Europe, United Kingdom dealing with a new culture helped me crave even more to adopt quickly to my new fascinating surroundings. I learnt many polite gestures commonly used here like, learning to quickly apologize by saying “sorry” frequently, using words like “excuse me”, “thank you”, “please can/may i have…” and “Good morning”. As a part of my normal gestures helped me become even more empathetic as I interacted with more people around me.

Empathy may not be as simple as it sounds, yet what motivates me is having the thought in mind that we actually will never know what people are going through in their daily lives. A simple smile and greeting can change someone’s day completely for the better. Being empathetic human beings does not make us weaker, in fact it makes us more human and since we all crave for a better world, why don’t we be that change that we want to see in the world? It does not only begin with me but it also begins with You! I challenge you to try to be more empathetic today.

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