Empathy: An Essential Human Characteristic
What is it to be human? If there were essential characteristics of humanity what would their core consist of? This is a question that I’ve been consumed with lately. In my exploration of the question, I came to the conclusion that empathy would sit atop of this list.
Glancing back across history, I gathered that this characteristic could have prevented many no so great outcomes.
Empathy is a willing to see through the eyes of another. Open and present to the discoveries without engaging in debate but listening. Suspending judgement is not agreement. It doesn’t invalidate your perspective either. It’s a listening and being present to have the opportunity to see life from a different vantage point.
Empathy goes hand in hand with humility. In a nation where we thrive on knowing, being right, and perception empathy feels like an uphill battle. But knowing that we can start right where we are and begin to author more if it in our lives give me peace. What can your life look like with more empathy. Embracing the difference with a receptivity, compassion and a receptivity will require all the characteristics that comes alone with empathy.
It’s an interesting challenge that is worth engaging in.