So far, 2020 has been a lot. People the world over have and continue to face different challenges as a result of COVID-19. For many of us, a pandemic is something new, something we have never experienced. One thing the pandemic has done is to expose some of the ugliness that there is the world over. The ugliness that we previously easily ignored. The pandemic has helped slow many of us down and in some instances, pulled many of us to a complete halt. It is easier to notice and acknowledge things when we are at a slower pace, much easier than it is when we are sprinting. The pandemic has also helped to silence a lot of the noise just enough to make several things that we need to address, that we have to address loud and glaring. Impossible to ignore. Things such as the hate and negativity many of us carry and spread for our fellow human.
Now I don’t know about you, but all this has definitely made me examine myself and have honest conversations with myself and with my loved ones. Are there ways that I have been a part of the spread of this negativity? The nastiness? How can I help to make it better? How can I do better? How can I begin a journey of healing myself and helping to heal the world around me?
One answer I settled on was empathy.
This may seem like too simple an answer but, I truly believe it is a necessary starting point. A powerful characteristic we all need to develop. What we lack in our society today is empathy and that is ailing us. A lack of regard and concern for our fellow human. As a world, many of us have learned to embrace and spread negativity. It has become the new normal to fight, to discriminate, to insult, to hate. It is almost as if most of us have forgotten how to lean into empathy, to listen, to try and understand, to embrace practising all this even when it is hard to.
I will not dismiss the fact that a lot of what is going on in the world will make our blood boil, our hearts break, our souls crush. All validly so. I am not saying that we have no right to be angry and get frustrated. What I am saying though is that we need to lean into our vulnerability, into our togetherness more. To lean into our empathy. It is much easier to spread anger and hatred than it is to practise empathy. It is not easy, it takes a whole lot of bravery to do so but it is possible.
So, I am going to keep trying my best to lean into my empathy in small ways and in not so small ways. I will keep doing my best to use my empathy to find healing within myself and to help heal the world around me. I will keep trying my best and I hope you will do the same.

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