Wrote this in response on the blogsite, Idle and Craft and decided to share it here as well, in which the blogger wrote of how common it is to blindly give the priority of attention to undeserving and fear-mongering hypotheticals. Her thoughts are absolutely on the mark.
Much of it has to do with the resident Chicken Littles(Media, Polititians, etc.). More of it should be in response to incidents which truly warrant our sympathy, such as the recent Earthquake in Pakistan/India. Sympathy is tricky these days, however, when a close one dies, we are reminded of our own mortality. When entire cities crumble, we are reminded that our fate, as a species, is not in our hands. When this occurs, the walls around our hearts begin to crumble along with those citites. Suddenly, there are much more important things. What we fail to realize is that they’ve always been important. We were just too swept away with our own lives that we neglected to notice.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, we are scarcely moved to tears unless tragedy is magnified to epic proportions. I blame self-conditioning.

In our rush to fortify our exteriors to endure rejection, embarassment, and the daily wear and tear of our relationships, we find when people most need our compassion, to our dismay, it’s been locked away, denied access to us and others, in a frozen heart we ourselves took pains to refrigerate. We feel, and then we un-feel.

What we don’t realize is that to choose apathy, is to relenquish our identity, and to deny our own humanity.

In order to sympathize, we must first learn to empathize, and to never UN-learn it again.

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