Monday, July 24, 2006

empathy vs. unconditional love for the self.

on the one hand we have feelings for the plight of others, and on the other we have feelings for the self.
which should come first?
my global view is that if everyone had a state of unconditional love for themselves then we wouldn`t need to ever have to discuss empathy. it would be moot.
but we are humans and we live in an imperfect yet perfect and beautiful existance full of potential........so where does that leave us?
unconditional love for the self means watching for the presuppositions that the media delivers to us as fact.
the plight of others is tragic but if it is outside of our ability to be on site and help then we have to subscribe to agencies to do our empathising for us, don`t we?
has that ever worked?

4 comments:

Yves said...

Your last paragraph sounds like an excuse for not responding to need in far-away countries, where we only know about them through the media, and the only way of helping is through organisations who invite our donations. It is not the agencies doing our empathising for us, but the employees and volunteers of those agencies doing their own empathising. When we donate it may be through guilt, it may be through an empathetic impulse. I guess the money is worth the same either way.

dr.alistair said...

the money goes into more ad campaigns to get more money.
my view is that the compassionate, empathetic feelings only seem to last long enough to get your visa card out and call the number on the screen. a task on the same spiritual level as say, buying a starbucks coffee and checking to see if they support local farmers in guatemala. i live in an affluent suburb of toronto canada and there are people here who need help, yet people climb over them as they go to that starbucks.......so what are these same people doing sending money to a large corporation in the humanitarian industry? they assuage some guilt they have in reaction to images on a screen, yet when offered opportunities to help in a thousand different ways locally, they are to busy.

dr.alistair said...

the money goes into more ad campaigns to get more money.
my view is that the compassionate, empathetic feelings only seem to last long enough to get your visa card out and call the number on the screen. a task on the same spiritual level as say, buying a starbucks coffee and checking to see if they support local farmers in guatemala. i live in an affluent suburb of toronto canada and there are people here who need help, yet people climb over them as they go to that starbucks.......so what are these same people doing sending money to a large corporation in the humanitarian industry? they assuage some guilt they have in reaction to images on a screen, yet when offered opportunities to help in a thousand different ways locally, they are to busy.

dr.alistair said...

hmm, posted twice there........
i mistrust the agendas of many of these entities that deal in humanitarian aid. many of the people involved in the humanitarian work are truly dedicated and there is a part of me that wants to go and teach kids to play soccer in foriegn countries or how to build a well but i see work to do right outside my back door and i will do that until my communnity heals.