September 25, 2012
“He who loves the world as his own body may be entrusted with the empire.”
– Lao Tzu
Presently people across the globe are getting impatient, intolerant, and agitated without any concern for others. It seems there is less respect toward others’ religions, regions, races, languages, ethnicities, cultures, and communities. In addition, the aspirations and expectations from all stakeholders are rising rapidly. For instance, children demand more from parents; students demand more from teachers; subordinates demand more from superiors; employees demand more from employers; followers demand more from leaders; and people demand more from the government. In fact, people are becoming more rights-oriented rather than duty-oriented. They must remember John F. Kennedy’s clarion call: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
There must be a shift in the mindset of the people. There must be a need for tolerance and respect toward others. People must be duty-oriented rather than rights-oriented. Empathy is the answer for these challenges. Empathy is the ability to step into the shoes of others, and look at the issues from others’ perspective. However, presently people hardly empathize with others. When we empathize with others most of the global challenges and conflicts will be resolved easily. Through empathy, we can put an end to intolerance, impatience, and instability. Through empathy, we can resolve several global challenges amicably. In fact, empathy is essential for global peace, prosperity, and stability.
Some people resort to violence to settle their scores. And some countries wage wars to settle their long-pending issues. In fact, violence is not the solution to several global issues. Ralph Waldo Emerson rightly remarked, “Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” People should shed their violent attitude and must respect others through empathy and understanding.
Love your mother but don’t hate another person’s mother. As your mother is precious to you, another person’s mother is equally precious to them. As your race, religion, region, language, ethnicity, culture, and community are precious to you, they are equally precious to others.
William J. Clinton said, “The real differences around the world today are not between Jews and Arabs; Protestants and Catholics; Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. The real differences are between those who embrace peace and those who would destroy it; between those who look to the future and those who cling to the past; between those who open their arms and those who are determined to clench their fists.” People must learn to empathize with others to make a difference in the lives of others. We need empathic leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, and Dalai Lama to name a few to maintain global peace, security and stability. Remember what Mother Teresa said when asked what you can do to promote world peace: “Go home and love your family.” As charity begins at home, let us start promoting global peace by loving our family and empathizing with others first.