empathy

Celebrity gossip is of zero interest to me but I did stumble upon a story that surprised me recently. If you are not a celebrity gossip addict you probably missed it too. Out of curiosity, I’m sharing this with you now because I think it has something valuable to teach us about being empathetic. 

A few weeks before the tragic and premature death of Chadwick Boseman, pictures showed him to be alarmingly thin and weak. In comment sections and mem accounts, people joked at the effects of a few months of quarantine. Others called him “Crack Panther”, implying that drugs were to blame for his radical change in appearance. 

Of course, we didn’t know why he looked that way. He was dying of stage four colon cancer.  He had only a few more days to live. 

Beyond the Celebity Gossip

Even if you did not see these pictures or jump to those conclusions, the lesson is a sobering one: You have no idea what people are going through. The famous singer who puts on weight. The coworker who is messing up over and over.  The new person you’re dating who seems to be suddenly preoccupied. The rude person in traffic. Even the Karen who is melting down on video at the grocery store. 

We have no idea about their private struggles. We have no idea about their pain.  

You have the option of having no opinion:  

So, somebody gained weight? 
Someone seems different lately? 
Unless you’re providing sympathy or help, why don’t you mind your own business? 

Nobody asked for your criticism. Nobody needs you to make fun of them. They’re struggling. They’ve got more than enough on their plate and they don’t need you adding to it.  Remember that. Because every time you forget, you risk ending up like the people who got their kicks mocking a guy dying of cancer. You end up missing what was actually quiet and profound heroism. 

Instead, practice empathy and love for others. Be the hand supporting them or have a nice detail with them before jumping to conclusions and being judgemental. You will be surprised how supporting those in need and adding some love for people can bring you unexpected satisfaction and inspiration.

What if your soul is weary and you need some empathy?

For those who are hurting today, be reminded of this passage of scripture:  

“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to Your Word.” 

Psalm 119: 28

Life can cause us to become weary, tired, and exhausted, but the Word of God comes and brings us exactly what we need. His Word and His promises bring strength into our lives. If you feel weary and drained by life, take hold of His Word, and be strengthened. 

Prayer

Lord, thank you for Your Word which brings strength and hope into my heart and soul. When I am tired and when I feel worn out, I will remind myself of all the good promises You have given me, and I will be empowered and strengthened. Amen.

Start taking action today to renew your day through love and empathy: Share this message with a friend that may resonate with this post, or leave your comments below if you found a new point of view.

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