Empathy means the ability to understand how another person feels because you can put yourself in their shoes. Empathy will allow you to identify with another person’s feelings probably because you have felt the same pain some time in your life. Empathy enables you to see things from another person’s perspective which perhaps might change your opinion of them. The harm we do other people is not always an act of maliciousness but simply dismissing them and their feelings is all it takes. Instead of putting others in their place, first put yourself in their place.

They say that if you talk kindly to your plants every day that it will make them grow. Imagine what would happen to an individual, especially someone who is going through a difficult time, if someone showed them a little kindness . Whenever you see another person therein lies an opportunity for kindness because we are all facing our own challenges. Their fight is just as important to them as your fight is to you. Their pain is as real to them as your pain is to you. We all have doubts and fears about something. We all carry wounds from our past, and no matter how strong we think we are, our pain surfaces every now and then. So when this happens to you, when you feel pain either physical or emotional, do something nice for someone else and just for a moment you will notice that nothing is as bad as it seems.

Kindness is a medicine that will go a long way in making both the receiver and the giver feel good. When you are down, don’t stay down. Rise and pick someone else up who is also down. Show up when someone needs you. Be selfless because when you are in a bad place you will want someone to be there for you. We are all human. We are all vulnerable. We all need to be supported. We all need to be accepted and respected. Love people when they need it and even when you feel that they don’t deserve it. Love and compassion are not luxuries but necessities in our world today. Rather than think that everyone who is different than yourself should think like you, respect other people who have other views and embrace diversity. Our differences should be used as a bridge for communication and unity not anger or separation. Although our human nature gives us the ability to have empathy, empathy is a choice. Having someone show you empathy feels good because it tells you that someone not only noticed you but cared enough to do something to help you.

Can you remember the last time someone showed you empathy? Do you remember how it made you feel? When someone makes you feel that you are valued and cared for, it leaves such an imprint in your life that it compels you to show that same kind of care when you see another person hurting. How you make others feel says a lot about who you are. People will forget what you said; they will even forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. No one heals themselves by wounding another person. In a world who couldn’t care less, be someone who couldn’t care more. Maya Angelou said ‘be the rainbow in another person’s cloud.’ Empathy creates a better world. Empathy is contagious. Pass it on!