Empathy And Compassion

“One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient”

Charles M Blow

I saw this quote today and it made me think about how for the most part, most people just get on with their lives and try their best to rub along with other people, but sometimes we hurt others without meaning to.

And I wonder why that might be the case.

Do we actually do more harm by sometimes doing nothing or turning a blind eye than we would it we acted out of desire to hurt someone? Looking back at the times when I have felt most hurt or let down by people it hasn’t been because someone has set out to deliberately be malicious, but through clumsy words or actions, or even through the absence of a response when it was needed. My biggest hurts have come from small things like lack of understanding or ignorance, not calculated, deliberate acts of malice, and I hope that the people who I have caused pain to see that it is true of my actions too.

What do you think? Is it the case that great harm only arises from deliberate action, or does harm happen because of cautionary inaction? Do we cause more damage by the lack of words and action? Is Charles M Blow right in what he says, or is he too simplistic and excuses the world’s ills too easily?

Conversely, do the greatest acts of love and healing come from the small things that we do rather than grand gestures and huge declarations in public?

Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Love and light

Pam Y

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