Let's face it; the world is not always at it’s best when it comes to how we care and view each other. We have been reminded by society, we are all in this together. But are we? Society has placed an enormous amount of importance on skin colour over the years, elevating one pigmentation while downgrading the other. Yet, the tragedy is not in the overt display of intolerance; it is often in the hidden nooks of our lives where many have stored negative ideas, thoughts, and beliefs about differences. We only have to look at the troll messages in social media posts to recognise that #worldkindness day doesn't speak to everyone.
This unkind nature of human behaviour prevents many from thinking about humanity. I believe society needs an empathy uprising to change the mindsets. Empathy can be the foundation of any harmonious society. To instill and practice kindness is to take a leap towards peace and acknowledge and understand others' emotions. We can practice empathy by seeing things from others' points of view.
Of late, many people are further understanding and acknowledging the brutal history of black people. They are acknowledging what fathers and families have to suffer to create a better world. Sacrifices have been made to achieve freedom, but sadly, freedom is not available to all. If we can remove any cognitive bias that may exist, we can be empathetic enough by learning about the emotions and the troubles.
Over the last four weeks, I have shared parts of the C.A.R.E method when holding my Anti-Racism workshops. These have been designed for corporates and individuals to understand racial issues in a non-judgmental, blame-free environment. It has been a fruitful experience to witness compassion and accountability; understanding resistance and empathy needed to be open to what is taking place in society.
For some employers and employees, it has taken courage to go into the unknown. It has taken a determination to go deep within themselves to find their true nature, which is not influenced by parents, education, and society. Feedback has been on the importance of building systems of mutual support that can help, acknowledge and validate the inevitable emotions that have arisen from oppression and deep socialisation.
Here is a brief recap:
Compassion: this is the ability to be sympathetic or conscious of others' distress. Understanding comes with the desire to want to alleviate the pain of other people. If we are compassionate, then fewer people will suffer.
Accountability: this is the willingness to accept responsibility for our actions. When thinking about society in general, we can change it if we become more responsible for our actions.
Resistance: for the world to achieve an empathy revolution, people must be willing to oppose the things that are not working to advance humanity and society.
Empathy: This is more of 'wearing the shoes' of another person. If we are empathetic, we will understand each other and can be responsible citizens of the world. If an empathy uprising is what will bring these qualities together, it is crucial and essential to our societies.
Some of the results of an empathy uprising can be:
Productivity: people will be able to work together in harmony and produce more. Empathy will allow for swift division of labour, which yields more produce (of any kind).
Improves interpersonal communication: with mental health a threat to humanity, only an empathy uprising can change this bearing. If we understand each other, people are likely to have good communication and improve mental health well-being.
I invite you to continue your research because when we know more and know better, we can collectively do better. Don't be afraid to share your intentions on what you've learned with friends and peers. Let’s continue this anti-racism work with interest and curiosity and seek to understand all differences.