How does a person determine what former President Obama means by “empathy deficit”?
As a sister and brother combo, our lives these past thirty years feel like a seesaw: one moment we love each other and the next we would love to strangle each other. I guess this makes us siblings, right. But, do we suffer from an “empathy deficit” towards each other?
I believe, as the brother in this equation, the question to ask is: How much empathy should one’s sister give to her brother during his time of need? I remember not too long ago, I had a party itch to scratch. But, I also had my daddy duties. Folks, I was short on my freedom to attend the party without the added responsibility of my child.
Well, I did the next best thing! I asked my sister to help a brother out. Her response, and I am not being too dramatic, NO, NO, and NO some more. I believe my sister displayed a heavy dose of “empathy deficit”. She failed to put herself in my shoes and so failed to understand my desire to party till day creeps onto night. Where was her empathy? Did she misplace it?
As the accused sister, my brother fails to see I did put myself in his shoes. When I placed my foot into his shoes I realized his child, who hangs on to him like glue, needed him at home. I reasoned his time would be well spent sharing memories with his child. Does that mean I have less empathy? I disagree! Loudly!
When we think about “empathy deficit” do we think that person lacks the know how or skill to see things from another person’s point of view? OR Do we think they just refuse to care?