The Opposition of Empathy

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Man’s need to impress his own opinion upon his peers,
and have life conform to his own ideals, is the real villainy
we need to fear. For in my understanding, it is not cruelty and control
that drives such characters, it is idealism. A belief that his own ideas
is for the betterment of the world. It is a worldview formed
entirely by his own experiences, or lack of them, and an unwillingness to accept
that reality is perceived differently by different people. It is the opposition of empathy,
perhaps more an unwillingness to give in to it, rather than a lack of it.
An unconditional unquestionable trust in his own perception and social constructions.

Then question then becomes … what drives someone to choose this path?
And the answer to that question is not cruelty, for in order to answer the question,
those of us, who still have our empathy intact, need to use it,
and not dehumanize those we call villains.

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21 thoughts on “The Opposition of Empathy

  1. Or we become them in trying to change them…forcing our ways upon them. We need to ‘be’ that change, so that they can ‘see’ that what we are is where they ‘want’ to be…not forced 😀
    You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink! …so to speak 😀
    Well written Trini…may the empathy in your heart be ‘seen’ for what it is, and something to aspire to ❤

  2. I have come to believe in the idea that each of us is doing the best we know how at every moment – based on our level of consciousness, our self-awareness, and our background experiences. It’s one thing to believe this – it’s another entirely to continue to move in the world with the compassion upon which this belief insists.

    • Oh, yes, I know very much what you mean. 💖. For me it has always been hard to understand pure unadulterated selfishness. But I think if you grow, being spoiled, having everything come to you too easy, you can develop an attitude of entitlement, thinking everything is already yours, and if you don’t get something when you want it and as fast as you want it, there is something wrong. Perhaps you even start thinking that it is the same way for everyone, that getting what you want is easy for everyone, and that those who suffer from poverty are simply lazy. I think some people also become selfish when they have too little, when they have to fight for everything, and unless they fight with beak and claws they won’t get anything, so they develop a “survival of the fittest” attitude, always trying to grab whatever is in front of them before anyone else does. And who knows maybe you, maybe I, would develop the same attitude towards life if we grew up being neglected and in want, or in too much, and becoming spoiled. Thank you so much for your beautiful and insightful comment! 💖

  3. I used to mostly agree with the view point you express here, but I’m just reading “The Memory Stones”, a novel by Caroline Brothers. She shows, devastatingly clearly, that those who carry out great acts of cruelty are so close to the act that they cannot help but know what they are doing. She also shows that they steal the joy from the lives of the families and friends of those they have treated cruelly. There is great moral culpability in those who force their domination on people by cruel and oppressive means.

    • Perhaps she is right, who knows? Certainly not me…I just watched a documentary here the other day about young men in prison (in Norway), and in a conversation with the moviemaker one of the young men told him about a very cruel and violent act he had committed, he was completely cold when he spoke of it, and when the moviemaker confronted him about that coldness he said that violence had been a part of his life as long as he could remember and at some point it stops meaning anything to you, the harshness of life had somewhat dehumanized him, made him indifferent. Now I have to add that this young man’s crime was against other criminals not against innocent people. I think, if we study psychology we will definitely find that there are psychopaths and other mental conditions that does make children cruel and unfeeling without any other cause, and before, we would call this evil, but when it is a deficiency in the brain, a mental disorder, it is not really their fault…I mean we have to stop such people from committing these violent acts, but can we really judge them…these are just my thoughts on the subject… and I am no expert.

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