It seems like Empathy is one of the easiest things to dish out in public (its better than “Sympathy” and easier than action) but one of the more challenging things to feel and even harder to teach.
On the other hand, Empathy seems like something that in today’s world we need more of, and more importantly, we need that Empathy to incubate and culminate as action and change.
So how does one do their part to cultivate empathy? And what are some “low key” ways to put your empathy into action?
It doesn’t cost a dime, requires no more commitment than your time, tends to be flexible in schedule, and leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy at the end of it all. Places that take volunteers include: The VA, Animal Shelters, Nursing Homes, Religious/Charitable Centers, Hospitals, Soup Kitchens, After School Programs, Big Brother/Sister Programs, Holiday Drives, City Parks, Hospice, Children’s Sports, Special Needs Programs, Special Summer Camps, Special Winter Camps, the list goes on and on. The cool thing is that engaging in volunteer activities also promotes awareness of issues and connects you in a very human way to people in need thus building and promoting empathy.
Strapped for time? Strapped with cash? Got no cash? Either way, you can always donate. Money is obviously a big factor, however there are many other ways you can donate such as blood or stem cell donation, cars, clothing, food, toys, services, box tops, blankets, toiletries, etc. If you don’t personally have any extra or used items like this, then you can facilitate others in donation. Find a bakery or other food store that throws out day old food and connect them with a food bank. Find an office building that is tossing its furniture and connect them with a school. There are endless opportunities to be a partner in donating to others, and you get that same fuzzy feeling without the time commitment.
Facilitate and Educate:
If you don’t have a lot of time, and donations aren’t in the cards at the moment, you can still be a facilitator and educator. In the age of social media, Donation and Cause awareness campaigns are won and lost based on online response. Take the time to like, share, and post about causes that are close to you. It might feel as though your small contribution doesn’t make a difference but remember that the bigger cause is only a result of many smaller “You’s” and that when you make a difference, and get someone else to make a difference, the result can snowball into major change. This doesn’t mean you need to fill your facebook feed with information and alienate others (you want to be empathetic to others as well), rather provide the right amount of information at the right time. This isn’t always easy but with education comes empathy, and with empathy comes change.
For more information and to get the help you need now, contact 310 Recovery for a free assessment of your symptoms as well as your insurance benefits and coverage. Give us a call today, 888-346-4350