Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Civilization and its lack of brotherhood

Do people care about other people? Is empathy a natural emotion? A uniquely human emotion? I finished reading Freud's Civilization and its Discontents and he made a point that the entire idea of the biblical verse 'Love thy neighbor like you love yourself' is absurd - but Freud has always been a bit of a cynic. I find myself both a cynic and an optimist. Though a skill, it is often quite a bothersome skill because it discontinues my abilities to have a true preference. So often I see both sides of the spectrum and I find myself able to have an understanding of opposing sides. At the same time there are some particular subjects where I have a definitive opinion -child abuse is one, rape is another, racism is another, polytheism/ atheism is another.
But even those subjects that can raise my blood level and have me see red I still get the other side. Somehow I understand. Is it because I'm Muslim, is it because I have such a kind and understanding mother, a reasonable father, 5 siblings, etc. Or is my empathy not unique. Was Freud wrong? Do we all truly have this deeply empathetic emotion inside of us. Is it simply that most of us hide it because where are of being hurt or feeling hurt or getting slightly.
The truth is, there is so much to be gained by tapping in to our empathetic emotions. Because if we all did it then we would all benefits. One of the greatest musicians Micheal Jackson who leaves a legacy that will probably be unmatched for a long time. But he will be remembered by many especially those who where directly effected for his empathy. He gave so much to charity, he felt so much for those hurting and he sang for them in his music.
Putting on another's shoe is not hard. We don't know what the future hold. The child who is abused may one day be your harsh boss, The neglected boy may one day be a rapist, the poor girl may one day be a thief. If someone -if many had show there empathy where willing to show there kindness we would create better human being. We would create a better world. Allah is my witness that people where created from two human beings, our mother and father so how can we not be empathetic towards each other when we are brothers and sisters.

No comments: