I met up with a new friend the other day, for a play date with her daughter and my son, who are in grade one class at school.
This woman comes along to the food bank I volunteer at and takes 2 boxes (which is only meant to happen for large families and she only has 2 young children). And she is one of those people who has money to buy other luxuries in life, but ‘takes’ from a food bank to get really cheap food. That bothers me, but I realise sadly many people ‘abuse’ charities and the good work volunteers do, for their own selfish needs. I realise there are a % of people who do this, ‘taking’….. but I try to focus on the genuine people in need.
During a conversation, she spoke about how she doesn’t watch the news and ‘doesn’t care’ about other people’s problems, she has enough of her own. (Don’t we all). She doesn’t want to see horrible stories about what happens to people.
She displayed the common attitude of avoiding and apathy, that sadly society promotes… that has no level of empathy, no compassion for others, and no awareness of life outside of own egocentric circle.
She is happy to ‘take’ from a food bank that is entirely run by volunteers who ‘do’ care outside of their own lives. Volunteers who do have empathy, and not only don’t avoid the realities of life, and don’t only care about their own problems, but have the compassion to act and do something to help those in need. But she is not concerned with ‘caring’ about others, only herself.
She is one of those ‘takers’ in life, but not a ‘giver’. I don’t think she is a bad person, but typical of our increasingly selfish and egocentric society.
I had that feeling hit me inside as she spoke, of sadness that I know so many people think like this.
It is not how humanity is meant to function.
Without empathy and compassion for others, humanity fails.
I explained to her how I do care about others, and it’s about balance, but I could tell my words fell on deaf ears.