Some empathy, anyone?

So I’ve been watching this TV Series called Being Erica. I usually don’t watch TV but this is very different and I’m hooked. This is the story of 32 year old Erica Strange, who is single, unemployed and has no clue where her life is going. She then meets this therapist who asks her to make a list of regrets from her past that could ‘fix’ her life. She does that and travels back in time and the TV show chronicles her journey – how she matures as a person and learns from these time travels and how her life changes for the better. I highly recommend watching this TV show – there are 4 seasons, ~12 episodes in each season and each episode is 45 minutes.

I think watching this show has been an enriching experience for me. I am learning so many new things about life and people. Today, I watched an episode where there was a quote ‘You are your patient.’- the idea being that unless you can relate to your patient and realize that you are similar to him/her in some way, you can’t reach out to them.

Thinking about it later, I realized that there are so many times that I feel that I’m better than other people. A very common reaction that we all have is ‘Oh I would never do this no matter what’ and we use this as a basis to judge other people. But how can we be sure how we would behave if we were in that person’s situation. Why do we never try to think and understand the other person’s situation and decisions?

I think it’s important to give other people the benefit of doubt. If someone is behaving in a certain way, let’s try to think of the reasons that are driving them to behave in that manner and to understand. I have been trying to implement this in my life for some time now and it’s tough because the first impulse is to judge someone who hurts/annoys you and put them in the ‘monster’ box. But it’s important to remember that we all have some degrees of good and bad in us, that we are all shades of gray, and maybe there is some driving force that causes other people to behave in a certain way. Maybe, if we are a little more tolerant and empathetic, the world would be a better, happier and peaceful place?

However, I do want to add a caveat to this.. How do you decide when the other person is taking your kindness for granted? Should we give people benefit of doubt once or twice or a fixed number of times? At some point, should we stop and look out for our interests first? Or should we always be nice to other people? What do you think?

I’d like to end the post by quoting from Being Erica:

“How despite the superficial differences, you know that deep down, we are all the same. We have the same secret needs, and the same wild dreams. We walk around thinking our secret pain, our secret joy is so unique whereas really, we all just want the same things – to be happy, to be safe, to be loved.”

Song on my mind – In Dino from Metro.

This is Post 12 in Blogathon – Jan 2014.
You can read my other posts here.

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This entry was posted in Blogathon Challenge - Jan 2014 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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