The events of 2020 are converging, and hindsight is now. We don’t need to wait for the future to reflect on this present time to remember that compassion and empathy are fundamental ingredients for humanity. With all that is going on in our world and in our communities, there is a diversity of response and reaction and all deserve to be encountered with compassion and empathy.
A response without compassion and empathy is not humane; it is robotic and incites frustration and anxiety. We find ourselves unheard and neglected; so, all we can do is try to be louder. We find ourselves converged upon a period of growing civil unrest in the setting of a global pandemic, economic recession, and a multi-generational plague of racism and social injustices.
The ability to feel for others, and to adopt the perspectives of others is one of the great abilities which sets our species apart from all others. It is what makes us human; it is what makes us humane. Compassion and empathy fuel change. When we pause to feel, understand and embrace the stories and experiences of our fellow humans, we will most certainly find common ground. We begin to reveal solutions intended to address fundamental issues and root causes that can fuel progress. Hate ends where compassion begins, and the time is now to spread the seeds of compassion.
Urvi Jhaveri Sanghvi, MS, RN