Ruminating On: Empathy

Depression is a contagious thing. If you are human (and by reading this I only assume that you are) empathy comes fully loaded in your make and model. Some people can opt out of their programming, but that takes practice and hard work. I have a saying that goes like this: There are three types of people, six if you split the genders. With women, you have your good ones, then your bitches, followed up by kind-hearted women who allowed society to turn them into raging fem-bots. Same with men; good ones, assholes, and those driven to douchebaggery by the company they keep. For quite some time I believed once you crossed that line between caring and your give-a-damn being broken, there would be no return. My wife proved my theory wrong eleven years ago by changing an emotional cripple back into a decent person. But, recently, I found myself backpedaling, not giving a flying fornication what happened to anyone as long as my loved ones were not affected. Now, I’m back on track once again and I find myself depressed for the first time in over a decade.

The depression I speak of (because there are several kinds) comes from a deep feeling of empathy towards my fellow humans. I had a rather heated debate with a person I used to call friend, over a topic that seemed cut and dry to me—illegal immigrants being allowed medical care in the United States. I firmly believe that everyone in this country, illegal or otherwise, deserves to be helped in their time of need. If that means making them better and then shipping them back home, so be it, but we should still strive to be greater than wherever they originally came from. This ex-friend thought I was crazy. Hell, maybe I am. But, honestly, to say we should deport the sick and injured and let their own country deal with them is a wee bit screwed up. At least to me it is. I pay taxes just like the rest of you and I couldn’t care less if that money went to aid an illegal alien. After all, we’ve spent billions in taxes rebuilding other countries that we’ve laid to waste; so what’s the difference? If you don’t agree with me, there’s nothing I can do to change that. But could you seriously look a dying individual in the eyes and tell them they have to wait until they are deported to receive medical treatment? If you could, I don’t want to know you. Plain and simple. Period.

The sadness I’m going through has a lot to do with the state of humanity and what we’ve become. We try our damnedest to skirt each other on the street just so we can get home and have our intangible internet relationships. It’s so easy for us to ignore our problems when we don’t have to stare them in the face. Now, with that said, I know there are many of you that do not act this way. I have friends in healthcare and other humanitarian fields which I respect because of their selflessness. But, I see countless others debating simple issues of conscience. Should someone go hungry because they are poor? That answer should always be no. Yet, some people that receive food stamps wouldn’t offer that aid to someone outside of our country or someone here without papers. I have two former acquaintances (former because I believe in guilt-by-association and I’m not letting anyone form opinions about me based on the company I keep) that believe this way. This country has a stick up its wazoo called entitlement. This rectal probe blasts a constant stream of: “We were born here so we deserve everything and those that were not must jump through hoops to attain it.” Listen, go find a Native American and explain your eschewed logic. I hope they chase you off that little patch of land our government gave them after we stole an entire nation out from under their noses. Makes me laugh every time I see an Indian casino. In their case, I want The House to win.

Notice I have not once asked what’s wrong with the world. That’s because there’s nothing wrong with “the world,” only the people who reside in it. I have had a modicum of success by the grace of those around me. I did not reach this place on my own and I don’t intend on leaving people behind now that things have started looking better. I give back whenever I can, not because I think that I’m better than those people, but because they deserve the same life that I have come to enjoy.

This is not a political post. I’m not trying to sway anyone’s vote. I’m not a republican, nor am I a democrat. I’m a human being. I’ve done without, been homeless, slept on cold concrete and wondered where the hell my next meal was coming from. Then, when I realized it wasn’t coming, I went to sleep. You can stave off hunger pains if you can train yourself to dream that you’ve already eaten. I cannot in good conscience wish that upon anyone, or refuse to help when I see it happening. If I have the means, they will know comfort. I expect the same from the country I live in and the people enjoying the freedoms they are allowed.

I wish you all health and happiness, even those of you that would not afford it to others.

E.

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3 thoughts on “Ruminating On: Empathy

  1. Well Edward, that may be the most Canadian thing I have ever heard you say 😉 All jokes aside, I agree with you on this. We live in a world where we know how to tend to the sick, how to build, and how to produce enough food to feed the masses. It’s time that we started sharing our expertise, knowledge and hearts with the people we currently aren’t physically connected with. There are people out there making a difference but if each of us were to make a difference where we could, the world would be a much better place to live in. I wholeheartedly believe that.

    Great post, let’s hope more people see it.

    Julie

    1. I see you’ve already shared it. Much appreciated.

      I’ve come to that point in my life where I’m tired of waiting on change to come, or hoping our leaders will provide it. I will do what I can. I expect the same from everyone else. Not miracles, just compassion.

  2. If you were to fall ill in England or France, they would take care of you at no cost, even though you’re American. Julie, is that true of Canada as well? Doesn’t that humble you? I belong to a religion that invaded Phoenix, a few months ago, to protest the “tent” prisons where illegals have spent the last 20 years. Do you know how HOT it gets in Phoenix in the summer? The local SPCA does not permit animals outdoors when it hits 115 degrees, but for Mexicans in Phoenix? No problem. Maybe you should join ranks with us, E.

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