In today’s world, it can be difficult for people to really understand the concept of , and show empathy.
So much of our time is spent on me, me, me, making sure we and our loved ones are cared for, safe, secure, healthy, etc. It can be easy to get so caught up in your own bubble that you can lose the full ability to have empathy for others.
I’m not just talking about empathy for us allergy families, but basic empathy for our fellow man.
The recent passing of same sex marriage in the USA is a case in point.
I wonder if those who oppose same sex marriage have ever taken a moment and thought “what if I couldn’t marry the person I love because the law said so”? I wonder if they took a second to put themselves in same sex couples shoes, would they still be opposed? (BTW #lovewins 🙂 )
As the Mum of an allergy kid I have been shocked by how many times people failed to show any empathy towards our situation with Miss J.
They are so caught up about how a school going nut free would impact their life, ie not able to put peanut butter on their child’s sandwich, that they lose sight of the bigger picture.
That if my child happened to accidentally take a bite of that peanut butter sandwich, that it could be life threatening, not just an inconvenience!
I have spoken to a couple of Mums who didn’t get it. Trying to break it down for them, and get them to see the situation from my side I put this to them.
What if your child went to school and had to spend her day next to a sandwich that was filled with ratsack? What if your child then saw that sandwich and thought it was sprinkles and thought she would give it a quick try? Sure my example was extreme, but I was close to either banging my head against a wall, or letting lose some choice swearwords at the time!
2 of the 3 Mums that I put that situation to got it immediately, they were able to tap into their empathy, to put themselves in my shoes and imagine the situation. From that conversation on, their attitude to Miss J’s allergies, and food allergies in general has changed, for the better. They are more tolerant, more willing to go the extra step that is needed, and so so so appreciated.
The other Mum still stuck strong to her belief that it wasn’t fair that her daughter couldn’t have peanut butter, and that allergy kids can’t expect the world to be safe for them, that’s a whole other can of worms I’ll discuss at a later date!
I have been thinking about the word empathy for a while, and I thought today, given the huge news out of the USA, would be an apt time to put a few words out there.
Have you had a situation where you tried to get others to show a bit of empathy?
Till next time,
Mel – This Happ-y Mumma